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Bonnyrigg, Hopefield

Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Rig And Furrow (Medieval)

Site Name Bonnyrigg, Hopefield

Classification Pit(S) (Period Unassigned), Rig And Furrow (Medieval)

Canmore ID 273823

Site Number NT36SW 188

NGR NT 309 641

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Midlothian
  • Parish Cockpen
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District Midlothian
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT36SW 188 309 641

Trial trenching was undertaken between July and October 2004 in advance of a proposed housing development. In total, 278 trenches were excavated, representing a 5% sample. Trenches were targeted on Polton South Mains Farm, which dates to the 17th century or earlier, and the cropmark site of Hawthornden enclosure (NT26SE 40). The remainder of the sample was spread across the site, avoiding a colliery and associated mineworkings.

Trenching at Polton South Mains encountered only rubble, probably relating to the demolition of the buildings prior to the establishment of the colliery in the latter part of the 19th century.

Remains of rig and furrow cultivation were found across most of the fields around Polton South Mains. The spacing of the furrows is consistent with broad rig, indicating a medieval to 18th-century date. The furrows appear to have been superseded by ceramic field drains in the 19th century. These were laid on the same alignment as, and often along the bases of furrows, following which the fields were progressively ploughed flat.

The hedgerows were also planted on the same alignment as the furrows and in some cases were planted on top of them. These field banks are therefore relatively recent and are likely to date to the most recent use of the site for farming following the abandonment of the colliery. Trenches located further away from the farmstead, on the line of the proposed access road, encountered fewer furrows. Where present these were at intervals consistent with narrow straight rig, indicating a later date for the taking in of the land. Small isolated pits of unknown date and function, some containing charcoal, were also found in four of the trenches.

Trenching adjacent to the cropmark of Hawthornden enclosure did not encounter any related features. This feature lies outwith the development area, and remains untested.

Reports lodged with Midlothian SMR and the NMRS.

Sponsor: Ironside Farrar.

E Jones and R Conolly 2004


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