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Green Castle

Fort (Prehistoric), Rig And Furrow (Medieval)

Site Name Green Castle

Classification Fort (Prehistoric), Rig And Furrow (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Newlands Burn

Canmore ID 56084

Site Number NT56NE 3

NGR NT 5818 6569

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Garvald And Bara
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT56NE 3 5818 6569.

(NT 5818 6569) Green Castle (NAT) Fort (NR)

OS 25" map (1967)

Green Castle.This triangular fort rests on the steep right bank of the Newlands Burn (at an elevation of 950ft OD) and is protected a short distance away to the N by a minor watercourse. It consists of an enclosure measuring axially 225ft by 190ft within a rampart which borders a natural plateau and so has a steep outer scarp. Another rampart of a less substantial nature provides further cover outside this. The entrance is in the W apex, and apart from a hollow inside this, the interior is featureless.

R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913

This fort is generally as described and planned.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JTT) 13 September 1965

No change from above information.

Visited by OS (JRL) 15 June 1979


Field Visit (2 June 1954)

Earthwork, 'Green Castle', Newlands, (Inv. No. 46).

The Inventory plan is accurate, but there is some doubt whether it should be accepted as a hill-fort. At first glance it might be thought to be medieval, on the analogy of Iron Castle, Roxburghshire, but the resemblance is not very close and may be illusory. It is in fact dificult to believe that medieval builders would have continued the outer rampart on the opposite bank of the Newlands Burn where it provides excellent cover for raiders. I am inclined to accept the work as of early Iron Age date although the small circular 'structures' referred to in the Inventory are not convincing and are in any case too small for huts.

Visited by RCAHMS (KAS) 2 June 1954.

Note (7 December 2015 - 1 June 2016)

This fortification occupies a promontory that has been isolated by natural gullies to form a steep-sided hillock. Roughly triangular on plan, it measures 68m from NE to SW by 58m transversely (0.3ha) within the inner rampart, though for much of the circuit this has been reduced to little more than a raised lip. Partly exploiting a natural gully on the SE, the rampart is also accompanied by a massive external ditch, which has been sunk some 6m below the level of the interior on the SE, and carried around the NE end and along the N flank. An outer rampart has also been piled up along its counterscarp, and a second ditch has been dug along the SE flank from the NE end. On the SW, the deeply incised stream gully seems to replace the inner ditch, and the outer bank and ditch have been continued along the lip of the escarpment forming its far side of the gully. The entrance is on the W, approached from the N by a trackway which mounts the slope between the end of the outer rampart and the burn and turns in between the terminals of the inner rampart at the NW end of the SW side. Traces of a rectangular structure are visible within the interior. The character of the defences is unusual and shares more in common with medieval earthwork castles than Iron Age forts.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 01 June 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3847


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