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Easter Langlee

Building (Roman)

Site Name Easter Langlee

Classification Building (Roman)

Canmore ID 55572

Site Number NT53NW 2

NGR NT 5210 3608

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Melrose
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT53NW 2 5210 3608.

NT 5210 3608 The foundations of a Roman building, believed to have been a monument or a tall shrine of the 2nd century AD, were destroyed during gravel quarrying at Easter Langlee, early in July 1965.

At the instigation of Dr Steer (RCAHMS), who surveyed the site, about thirty of the stones were dug out of a pile of gravel on July 10th. They bore the characteristic diamond broaching of Roman legionary workmanship and had been cramped together. Several of the stones bore numbers indicating that they had been dressed in a workshop, probably at the Roman fort at Newstead, for subsequent erection on this site: one of the stones was inscribed 'COH I'; another, 'M III'.

The driver of the bulldozer who destroyed the shrine described it as an apse-ended building about 15 ft long by 9 ft wide, with the apse at the west end. The east end seemed to have had no wall-footings: while a large stone, broached upon its upper surface and centred in the apse wall-footings, indicated a low window or threshold. The north and south walls, each composed of a single line of stones, were broached on their outer faces but the apse was said to have been composed of a number of roughly dressed, interlocked boulders. (Information from Colin Martin, Springwood Cottage, Kelso)

Three stones have been deposited in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS): the remainder are at Old Gala House, Galashiels. (Museum label, 19 July 1965)

Information from OS Recorder (SW) 20 July 1965

R P Wright 1966

The two inscribed stones and a third stone are in the NMAS. The stone with the inscription 'M III' is Accession no. 1965 FV 49: the third stone is No. 1965 FV 50: The stone with the inscription 'COH I(?)' is too friable for exhibition and a cast is being prepared. The cast (Accession no. 1965 FV 51) will be put on display and the original stone may be disposed of.

Information from telecommunication from A S Henshall, NMAS, 18 July 1966


Archaeological Evaluation (7 July 2011 - 15 July 2011)

NT 52060 36105 (centred on) An evaluation was carried out 7–15 July 2011 on a landfill site at Easter Langlee prior to development. Quarrying work was underway at the site in the 19th century, but began on a large scale in 1965. Prior to this the area was agricultural land and some pre-quarrying aerial photographs show ploughed fields across it. The abandoned quarry was subsequently used as a landfill site.

During topsoil stripping in June 1965, a stone built, apsidal-ended building was destroyed without archaeological monitoring. Examination of the stones used suggested that these were typical of Roman work (Newstead Fort lies nearby) or possibly post-Roman reuse of building materials. Contemporary excavation found evidence for later prehistoric metal working just to the SW of the quarry. Recent examination of the pre-1965 aerial photographic record revealed a number of features of possible archaeological origin. These are generally linear marks, both straight and curved, and although many of these were destroyed during the subsequent quarrying operations, they represent settlement on the site, arguably of different historic periods. An accurate picture of the full extent of the quarrying activity is not available from historic sources, and cannot be easily identified today. However, aerial photographs suggest there are two areas of potential survival. These areas lay to the N and E of the proposed new development. Trial trench sites were located in each area in order to characterise the suspected sites. The evaluation established that there was the potential for significant archaeological remains in the areas undisturbed by previous works, and that a watching brief should be carried out during future ground-breaking works.

Archive: RCAHMS (intended)

Funder: New Earth Solutions Group

Kirkdale Archaeology, 2011

OASIS Id: kirkdale1-171261

Sbc Note (21 March 2016)

Visibility: This was the site of an archaeological monument, which may no longer be visible.

Information from Scottish Borders Council

Previously also listed under duplicate site NT96SW 510 -CANCELLED. HES (LCK) 11.6.2024


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