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Cockburn Mill

Cist (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Cockburn Mill

Classification Cist (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Cockburn Farm; Duns

Canmore ID 58578

Site Number NT75NE 18

NGR NT 776 581

NGR Description NT c. 776 581

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT75NE 18 c. 776 581

'In the first week of February, 1911, there was unearthed in a field on Cockburn farm, near Duns, an ancient stone coffin. The place at which the cist was found is a stony bank, in cultivating which from time to time the plough had been noticed to come into contact with what seemed to be a large stone. It was arranged to remove the obstruction, but when those employed for the purpose had begun their work they discovered that the stone which had obstructed the work of the plough was really a slab covering a stone-built grave. The interior of the grave, which was formed of four large slabs of the red sandstone, which crops out on the banks of the river Whitadder measured about 3 feet [0.91m] in length, by 2 [feet: 0.61m] in width, and was about 2 feet [0.61m] deep. It was covered by a similar stone, but there was no bottom slab. The dimensions, like those of other cists, recorded in the district, show that the body which it contained had been doubled up before burial. The grave contained, in addition to some of the bones of the skeleton, a very fine urn of the "food vessel" type, such as is commonly associated with interments of the bronze age. The urn measured about 5½ inches [140mm] in height, by 6½ inches [165mm] across, the upper part adorned with two raised bands with a dotted pattern, the under conical part having a zig-zag ornament, and the whole by no means destitute of a certain rude artistic taste. It was preserved almost intact.'

Source: Border Magazine - an illustrated monthly, June 1911.

A cist containing a food vessel was found in 1911 at Cockburn Mill (NT 776 581) (Information from Border Magazine June 1911). It was of sandstone slabs, measuring 3' by 2' by 2', unpaved. The food vessel was given to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS). (Accession no. EE.102)

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1912 (Donations); J H Craw 1923.

No further information.

Visited by OS (JFC) 23 December 1954.

Listed - no further information

RCAHMS 1980.

The cited provenance ('Cockburn Farm') is apparently erroneous. The Naturalists are clear the pot came from Cockburn Mill, and Cockburn Farm borders Cockburn Mill.

Information from Ms Katherine Prentice (Assistant Curator, Scottish Mining Museum, Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian), 10 January 2008.

The Food Vessel from this cist is held in the National Museums of Scotland under accession number NMS: X.EE 102).

Information from Mr T Cowie (Dept. of Archaeology, National Museums of Scotland), 14 January 2008.


Sbc Note

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

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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