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Dirrington Great Law

Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dirrington Great Law

Classification Cairn(S) (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 57424

Site Number NT65SE 1

NGR NT 698 549

NGR Description NT 6980 5492 and NT 6985 5492

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Longformacus
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT65SE 1 698 549.

(A: NT 6980 5492, B: NT 6985 5492) Cairns (NR)

OS 6"map, (1957).

There are two large cairns, with a smaller cairn about midway between them, on the summit of Dirrington Great Law (398m OD).

J H Craw 1923.

Cairn 'A' is circular, 21.0m in diameter and 2.5m in height. An irregular ditch up to 2.0m broad and now from 0.2m to 0.5m deep, appears to have surrounded the cairn. A slight causeway across the ditch in its NW arc has apparently been caused by silting.

'B' is a large, circular cairn. slightly hollowed on top.

It measures 23.5m in diameter and up to 2.4m in height.

There is a large quarry pit on the SW side.

'C', at NT 6982 5491, is a low, circular cairn, 8.5m in diameter and 0.8m in height, adjacent to an OS triangulation pillar.

Visited by OS (JFC) 13 January 1954.

No change to the previous information; the three cairns are apparently undisturbed.

Surveyed at 1/10,000

Visited by OS (MJF) 11 May 1979.

Three cairns, as described (slight variation in dimensions quoted).

RCAHMS 1980, visited October 1979.


Field Visit (30 August 1950)

On the summit of Dirrington Great Law there are three round cairns, presumably of Bronze Age date, situated approximately in a straight line running E and W. The easternmost cairn which occupies the summit proper at a height of 1309 ft OD, measures 50 ft in diameter and 4 ft in height, and is composed of small, sharp-edged fragments of felstone excavated from an adjacent quarry-pit. The next cairn, 40 ft to the W, is a poorly-preserved structure only 22 ft in diameter and 2 ft in height; but the westernmost of the three, 27 ft to the W of the second, is one of the most impressive monuments of its kind in the Borders. Standing to a maximum height of 7 ft 6 ins, it measures 64 ft in diameter and in addition it is surrounded by a quarry-trench 8 ft wide.

Visited by RCAHMS (KAS) 30 August 1950.

Reference (1957)

This site is noted in the ‘List of monuments discovered during the survey of marginal land (1951-5)’ (RCAHMS 1957, xiv-xviii).

Information from RCAHMS (GFG), 24 October 2012.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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