Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kaim Knowe,farmstead 850m east of Sourhope

A Scheduled Monument in Kelso and District, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.4745 / 55°28'28"N

Longitude: -2.2324 / 2°13'56"W

OS Eastings: 385409

OS Northings: 620098

OS Grid: NT854200

Mapcode National: GBR D5V4.HC

Mapcode Global: WH9ZS.PN5K

Entry Name: Kaim Knowe,farmstead 850m E of Sourhope

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1990

Last Amended: 31 August 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4890

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: farmstead

Location: Morebattle

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Kelso and District

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises the remains of a scooped enclosure and two probable buildings forming a pre-Improvement farmstead dating to between AD 400 and AD 1850. The upstanding remains are visible as a group of low, grass-covered scarps and banks on the W side of Kaim Knowe. Rig and furrow cultivation remains lie around the enclosure on relatively level ground to the E and S. The farmstead is located at the top of a NW-facing slope at about 290m above sea level, facing away from the Kaim Burn, which lies on the far side of the hill about 150m to the S. 

The scooped enclosure is sub-rectangular in plan, measuring 20m NW-SE by 19m transversely. It is defined by a low grass-covered bank less than 0.5m high to the NW, and by scarp slopes  0.5m to 1m high on the remaining sides. It resembles a sunken yard. To the E and NE are two rectangular platforms defined by low scarps,  measuring about 15m by 6m. They are less clearly defined than the yard, but probably represent two buildings set at right angles to one another. Low rig and furrow cultivation remains extend across the shoulder of Kaim Knowe for about 60m to the E and S. The site is not depicted on Roy's Map of 1752-5, nor on the OS first edition six inch map of Roxburghshire, Sheet XXIII, surveyed in 1859.

The scheduled area is irregular in plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. On part of the E side, the scheduled area extends up to but excludes a post-and-wire fence. The monument was first scheduled in 1990, but the scheduled area was not well-positioned and the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular pre-Improvement rural housing, domestic arrangements, settlement pattern and agriculture. It retains its field characteristics to a marked degree, the surviving earthworks suggesting a lack of disturbance since abandonment and good potential for  the survival of structural, artefactual and ecofactual evidence. There is significant potential to compare the farmstead both with earlier prehistoric settlements in the immediate vicinity, and with two broadly contemporary farmsteads that lie to the S, one potentially held by Melrose Abbey. Well-preserved examples of pre-Improvement farmsteads are relatively uncommon and the loss of this monument would diminish our ability to understand the economic, agricultural and domestic changes that occurred in rural Scotland during the 1st and 2nd millennia AD.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NT82SE 27.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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