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Borrowston Rig

Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Site Name Borrowston Rig

Classification Stone Circle (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Borrowston Rigg

Canmore ID 56020

Site Number NT55SE 5

NGR NT 5576 5231

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Lauder
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT55SE 5 5576 5231

See also NT55SE 4 and NT55SE 7.

(NT 5576 5229) Stone Circle (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

Stone Circle, Borrowston Rig. The setting of these stones is an example of Thom's Type II egg-shape, though the ten surviving upright stones are inconspicious, some barely showing above the heather. Many more fallen ones are visible and some buried examples were located by probing. Most of the stones lie on a true circle 41.5m in diameter. The west segment is formed of an arc of a circle 25.6m in the diameter, the circumference of which passes through the centre of the main circle. The perimeter is completed by straight lines which join the arcs of the two circles.

The RCAHMS note 32 stones, apparently in situ, maximum height 2ft; 33 stones, one upright, were noted in 1956.

E W MacKie 1975; A Thom 1967; RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908

Stone Circle, Borrowston Rigg. A plain circle 41.5 by 36.6m on WNW-ESE axis. Of its low stones, none more than 0.6m high, one lies exactly at the N, 3.1m inside the circumference, like an inlier at Cairnpapple. Thirty-seven metres NW, two stones may mark an alignment on Capella.

A Burl 1976

NT 5576 5231. Situated on level, though boggy ground in an otherwise undulating area, this egg-shaped circle is generally described except that its overall stone-centre dimensions are 48.0m WNW-ESE by 41.0m transversely. Of thirty stones found, five by probing, fourteen appear in-situ uprights up to 0.5m high, and the remainder are recumbent. The SE arc crosses an overgrown and boggy area where further stones are probably buried. The alleged inlier on the N side is an inconspicuous flat stone, and no significant stones were noted to the NW of the circle.

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (JRL) 30 May 1979.

Stone setting.

J R Baldwin 1985.


Field Visit (13 August 1908)

226. Stone Circle, Borrowstoun Rig.

This stone circle (fig. 113 [DP 225509]) is situated on the Borrowstoun Rig, about 1 mile north-east of the summit of Dabshood, and about 150 yards to the north-east of a stone-built sheep-fold. It has a diameter of about 150 feet by 140 feet, and is formed of rather small stones, thirty-two of which appear to be in situ, and none of which protrude more than 2 feet above the peaty soil in which they are firmly embedded. At seven feet within the circle, south of a stone whose place in the circumference is some 430 feet east of north from the centre, lies a recumbent stone 3 feet long by 2 feet broad, with its longer axis in the same direction.

See Ber. Nat. Club, 1882-84, p. 311.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 13th August 1908.

OS Map: Ber., xiv. SW. (unnoted.)

Publication Account (1985)

High on the plateau (350m) some 32 small stones survive, some barely showing above the heather, 10 of them still upright, and none more than 60cm high. They form an egg-shaped setting nearly 46m by 43m, most of the stones lying on a 41.5m true circle (50 megalithic yards) but the western segment formed on the arc of a separate notional circle 25.6m or 31 my in diameter whose circumference passed through the centre of the larger circle. The perimeter of the setting was determined by straight lines joining the outer arcs of the overlapping circles. This, at least, would be the theory suggested in recent years-that our ancestors had devised careful mathematical formulae linking an apparently standard unit oflength, the 'megalithic yard', to basic geometrical shapes (cf Burgh Hill no. 100).

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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