Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wildgoose Hill, fort 610m south west of Burnhead

A Scheduled Monument in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.521 / 55°31'15"N

Longitude: -2.2552 / 2°15'18"W

OS Eastings: 383987

OS Northings: 625275

OS Grid: NT839252

Mapcode National: GBR D4PL.KQ

Mapcode Global: WH9ZL.BHCD

Entry Name: Wildgoose Hill, fort 610m SW of Burnhead

Scheduled Date: 3 June 1958

Last Amended: 29 January 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1706

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Yetholm

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Kelso and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument is the remains of a hillfort, dating probably to the Iron Age (between about 800 BC and AD 500). The fort ramparts are visible as low turf-covered banks and the ditches as shallow depressions. The monument lies 360m above sea level, on one of several summits on a long ridge that extends NNW from the Cheviot Hills towards Kirk Yetholm. There are very extensive views N towards the Tweed Valley.

The fort consists of an oval enclosure defined by a single continuous rampart, strengthened by an outer ditch and rampart to the NNW and SSE, and by an additional linear ditch that blocks the ridge to the NNW. The enclosed area measures 100m NNW-SSE by 53m transversely and at least two hut circles lie within the interior. Today the ramparts stand up to 0.7m high, and the outer ditch to the NNW measures about 80m long, 5m wide and 0.7m deep. Boulders noted in the outer edges of the ramparts in 1938 suggest they may have been curbed or revetted. There are three possible entrances to the fort, two on the SW side, one on the NE.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of a stone dyke and post-and-wire fences that cross the fort. The monument was first scheduled in 1958, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to add to our understanding of prehistoric settlement, society, economy and domestic life, particularly the design and development of defended settlement types in southern Scotland. In addition to the upstanding visible remains, there is good potential for the survival of important buried deposits and structures relating to the fort's construction and use. The multiple lines of defence suggest that the site may have been occupied and developed over an extended period of time. Overall the fort retains its field characteristics to a marked degree, with the banks and ditches clearly visible on approaching the fort along the ridge in either direction. The fort would have been a significant feature in the prehistoric landscape, especially if the ramparts were revetted with stone, and it remains an interesting and informative feature of the modern landscape. Our understanding of the distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements in the Scottish Borders would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 59305.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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