Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Penchrise Pen, fort 635m south west of Penchrise Farm Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Hawick and Hermitage, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.3476 / 55°20'51"N

Longitude: -2.8044 / 2°48'15"W

OS Eastings: 349086

OS Northings: 606245

OS Grid: NT490062

Mapcode National: GBR 86VL.NV

Mapcode Global: WH7XT.WVRB

Entry Name: Penchrise Pen, fort 635m SW of Penchrise Farm Cottage

Scheduled Date: 12 March 1963

Last Amended: 8 July 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2296

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: 20th Century Military and Related: Civil defence (eg. air raid shelter); Prehistoric domestic and de

Location: Cavers

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Hermitage

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument is the remains of a hillfort, dating probably to the Iron Age (between about 800 BC and AD 500). Up to three parallel banks and ditches enclose a central area on the hill summit and there is an annex to the W and an enclosure to the NE. The monument is situated on Penchrise Pen at around 440m above sea level. The hill has extensive views in all directions and is a very prominent feature in the local landscape.

The central fort measures about 105m ENE-WSW by 82m transversely. On the SE side the ramparts are reduced to terraces and,to the S, the steepness of the rocky slope obviates the need for additional defences. There are entrances to the NW and NE. Beyond the fort, there is an annex to the W and an enclosure to the NE, both formed on naturally level or gently sloping ground below the summit. The annex to the W is roughly triangular on plan and measures 69m N-S by 42m transversely, while the NE enclosure is sub-oval on plan, measuring 62m N-S by 48m transversely, and partly blocks the fort's NE entrance. There are entrances to the N of the W annex and the NE of the E enclosure. There are two potential hut circles within the fort and three clear hut circles in the W annex. An Ordnance Survey trig point and the concrete foundation and building blocks of a military sentry box stand on the fort summit.

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 monument was first scheduled in 1963, 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 make a significant addition to our knowledge and understanding of later prehistoric settlement in Scotland, specifically defensive sites. In addition to the visible remains of the banks and ditches, the site has good potential to preserve important buried deposits, features and structures relating to its construction and use, which could enhance our understanding of Iron Age settlement, society and economy. The annex and enclosure enhance the monument's importance as they indicate that the site may have developed and expanded over time. The presence of at least two additional prehistoric enclosures at the base of the hill adds significant potential to study the monument in relation to surrounding settlement, while the elevated position of the fort means that there are site lines to numerous other enclosures and forts in the wider area. Our understanding of the date, distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements in southern Scotland would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Other Information

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NT40NE 5.


Harding, D W 2012, Iron Age Hillforts in Britain and Beyond.

RCAHMS 1956, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of Roxburghshire: with the fourteenth report of the Commission, 2v Edinburgh, 111-12, no 157, fig 147.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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