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Burgh Hill

Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Site Name Burgh Hill

Classification Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Burgh Hill Stone Setting

Canmore ID 54016

Site Number NT40NE 17

NGR NT 4701 0624

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Teviothead
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT40NE 17 4701 0624.

(NT 4704 0625) Stone Circle (NR)

OS 25" map (1968)

This stone circle is situated on a natural shelf at a height of 950 ft, near the summit of Burgh Hill. Sub-oval on plan, it measures 54 ft from NE to SW by 44 ft transversely and comprises twenty-five stones, thirteen of which are erect while the remainder are recumbent. They are all comparatively small slabs (ranging in height from a few inches to 2 ft 8 ins) and most of them have a broad face aligned on the perimeter of the setting (R W Feachem 1963). Only one of the recumbent stones, on the SW side, is appreciably larger in size, measuring 5 ft in length by 2 ft 3 ins in width.

It is recorded (a) that the circle "has been well explored, but yielded nothing of a sepulchral nature".

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1949; E W Mackie 1975

This stone circle is as described by the previous authorities.

Revised at 25".

Visited by OS (WDJ) 11 February 1965

Burgh Hill: An egg-shaped ring of many stones. It has been ruined but alone among its little stones a 1.5m pillar remains, fallen, at the SW (238) opposite a 1.1m long, low, thin slab in appearance like a Cork recumbent stone. This 'recumbent' and the prostrate pillar are on the main axis of the site.

H A W Burl 1976

NT 4701 0624. No change to the previous information.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (JRL) 12 November 1979.

Classified as Stone Setting.

J R Baldwin 1985.


Publication Account (1985)

The nearby hills were quite well settled in the iron age by British tribes, and subsequently by Northumbrians for whom the Catrail (NT 4804- 4904: a considerable linear earthwork just visible from Burgh Hill towards The Pike, south-east across Dod Burn) may have been a temporary 'frontier' before the mid 12th century.

Burgh Hill, at 306m, in addition to its roughly rectangular fortified hill-settlement, hosts a setting of 25 stones, 13 of which are still erect. It is some 2.5km north-west of the Tinlee Stone (NT 484038), a standing stone set on rising ground above Dod Bum.

The setting is low on the ground; it is egg-shaped, some 16.5m by 13.4m and, like Borrowstoun Rig (no. 101) is believed to have been constructed according to clearly defined geometrical mles involving a megalithic yard calculated at 0.829m. But whilst Borrowstoun is termed a Type II setting (based simply on two overlapping circles), Burgh Hill, like Caimpapple's much larger ring of standing stones, is termed Type 1. It is based on an initial notional circle and on further circles linked to pythagorean triangles placed back-to-back at the centre point of the diameter of the original circle! In this particular setting, the first circle has been calculated as 16 megalithic yards in diameter; the longer sides are arcs of 27 my diameter circles, the tip is part of a 10 my diameter circle based on the apex of the triangles.

Regardless of such megalithic mathematics, the factors that determined the overall size of a setting (geographicallimitations apart) are still unknown; as also the reasons why they were built at all, whether ritual, ceremonial or astronomical.

Information from 'Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and Borders', (1985).

Sbc Note (15 April 2016)

Visibility: Standing structure or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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