Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Buck Stone, standing stone 470m NNE of Hermitage Farm Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Hawick and Hermitage, Scottish Borders

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Latitude: 55.2576 / 55°15'27"N

Longitude: -2.7804 / 2°46'49"W

OS Eastings: 350494

OS Northings: 596219

OS Grid: NY504962

Mapcode National: GBR 970N.V2

Mapcode Global: WH7YF.837R

Entry Name: Buck Stone, standing stone 470m NNE of Hermitage Farm Cottage

Scheduled Date: 22 November 2023

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM13778

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Castleton

County: Scottish Borders

Electoral Ward: Hawick and Hermitage

Traditional County: Roxburghshire


The monument comprises a single standing stone likely to date to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age periods (between 3800 and 2500 BC). The limestone, wedge-shaped stone is approximately 1m high by 1.27m wide and 0.7m deep. It is located on east facing pasture above the west bank of the Whitrope Burn at 190m above sea level. 

The scheduled area is circular, measuring 7m in diameter. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. 

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17): 

a.   The monument is of national importance because it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. Standing stones are one of the key indicators of prehistoric activity in Scotland such as for ritual, ceremonial, burial or commemorative activity. They are important in our understanding of the nature of prehistoric society and its exploitation of landscape. This example contributes to our understanding of prehistoric monuments dating to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. 

c.   Regionally, the monument is an uncommon example because of its relatively outlying position when compared with the national distribution of known, similar standing stones.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past. The form of the monument can be researched, contrasted and compared with other monuments of the type and there is the potential for skeletal material, grave goods, pottery, environmental material and associated remains to survive around its base and in the buried layers beneath. The stone and its assemblage can help us understand more about the archaeological character of such monuments and their place in understanding prehistoric society.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the prehistoric landscape by its survival as part of a wider network of contemporary monuments. It is likely to have been placed deliberately in this location to take advantage of views, natural routes and spatial connections with these other monuments. Despite its low, discrete presence in today's landscape, it contributes as  a marker for the wider prehistoric exploitation of the western half of the Cheviot Hills.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

This small single, wedge-shaped standing stone sits upright and appears to be in its original location. The stone measures approximately 1m high by 1.27m wide and 0.7m deep. Above the ground surface, it is notably wider than it is tall. The stone's upper surface is relatively level and contains a linear groove and several large depressions. These appear more likely as products of natural erosion rather than deliberate attempts at abstract art (such as prehistoric rock art seen on similar standing stones). The substantial nature of these marks suggests that the stone has been upright and exposed to the elements for an extended period of time.

The stone and its position in the landscape mark a significant area for prehistoric activity covering the late Neolithic or Bronze Age periods (between 3800 and 2500 BC). There is no evidence that it has been relocated or disturbed and as such, there is good potential for the survival of buried deposits from its erection and use in ceremonial, ritual, burial and commemorative activities. Buried deposits at these monuments can include human skeletal material, pottery vessels, grave goods, the remains of other human activity and, traces of the environmental conditions (such as vegetation cover and land use) at the time of its use. The standing stone can also help us understand how such monuments were erected, for example by the use of sockets and packing stones. Study of this monument when compared to others has the potential to increase our understanding of the distribution and use of prehistoric ritual monuments in the Neolithic period. Non-invasive survey methods can also help us understand more about its function such as for ritual or ceremonial events.  

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

Standing stones are a relatively widespread class of prehistoric monument in Scotland. Nationwide, there are over 1200 examples recording in the National Record of the Historic Environment, with over 130 known of in Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway. More locally, there are seven examples within approximately 14km of The Buck Stone. The closest example is located on Graystone Hill (approximately 1.7km to southwest, CANMORE reference 161985) where the landform indicates potential intervisibility between the two.

Single standing stones are often deliberately located and sighted in association with other contemporary monuments such as other standing stones, stone circles, burial monuments and henges, as part of a wider network. In this case, there is a stone circle (Ninestone Rig) located on higher ground, 1.67km to the northeast (Scheduled Monument reference SM1688, CANMORE reference 67994). While such monuments are present in the wider area of The Cheviot hills and southern Scotland, this example is of interest because of the relative paucity of standing stones in the region when compared with the national distribution. More locally, the stone it is located close to the confluence of the Hermitage Water and the Whitrope Burn and the natural routeways formed along these water courses. Study of this example among the wider distribution of other standing stones and contemporary monuments can help us understand more about the ways in which prehistoric communities understood, valued and exploited the landscape. 

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

The standing stone is depicted on first edition OS mapping as a named feature, 'Buck Stone', however the derivation of its name remains unclear.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 67991 (accessed on 05/09/2023).

Ashmore, P J, 1996, Neolithic and Bronze Age Scotland. London. BT Batsford Ltd.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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