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White Well

Sheepfold (Period Unassigned)

Site Name White Well

Classification Sheepfold (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Johnscleugh

Canmore ID 57501

Site Number NT66NW 3

NGR NT 6238 6740

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Whittingehame
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT66NW 3 6238 6740.

(NT 623 674) The RCAHMS, in 1924, describe a "fort" on the summit of a hillock (1000ft OD) 600 yards SE of the White Well. An area, 48ft in diameter, is enclosed by two concentric earthen banks. The inner bank is 9ft broad and 1ft high, while the outer, 64ft away, is 6 1/2ft broad and 1ft high. The highest part of the interior is 5 1/2ft above the base of the outer bank. There is an entrance through the outer bank in the NW; this has been banked on either side as far as the inner bank which it does not penetrate. These banks are 4ft broad 9ins high, converging regularly from the outer bank, where they are 20ft apart, to the inner, where they are only 7ft apart. However, in 1954, this feature was re-classified as merely a circular, turf-walled sheep-fold.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913; MSS, visited 1954

This feature is a prominent twin-banked enclosure, as described by the RCAHMS. It could be a sheepfold, although the outer work with a 'funnel' to the NW has no analogies as far as is known.

Visited by OS (RD) 26 August 1968

NT 6238 6740. A collapsed turf-banked sheepfold with an outer enclosure. The converging banks were used to funnel sheep into the fold; the entrance is obscured by collapsed wall material.

Visited by OS (MJF) 1 May 1979.


Field Visit (14 June 1913)

218. Fort near the White Well, Johnscleugh.

About ¾ mile north-west of Johnscleugh and 600 yards south-east of the White Well, at an elevation of 1000 feet above sea level, between the Whitadder and the Garvald and Priestlaw road, is a small hillock, the summit of which is enclosed by two concentric walls of earth 64 feet apart, the enceinte measuring 48 feet in diameter. The inner rampart is 9 feet broad and 1 foot in height, and the outer is 6 ½ feet broad and 1 foot in height, the highest part of the interior rising 5 ½ feet above the base of the outer bank. To the north-west there is a gap in the outer rampart to provide an entrance, which has been banked on either side as far as the inner rampart, which it does not penetrate. On either side the passage is 4 feet broad and 9inches high, and the sides converge regularly from the outer rampart, where the distance between them is 20 feet, to the inner rampart where they are only 7 feet apart.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 14 June 1913.

OS Map ref: xvi. N.E. (unnoted).

Field Visit (4 June 1954)


The circular, turf- walled sheepfold which is shown on the O.S. map on the right bank of the Whiteadder Water, about three-quarters of a mile NW of Johnscleugh, is erroneously described as a "fort" in the Inventory of East Lothian (No. 218).

Visited by RCAHMS (KS) 4 June 1954.

Map refs: 623 674; xvi. NE


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