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Hayhope Knowe

Enclosure(S) (Period Unassigned), Scooped Settlement (Romano-british)

Site Name Hayhope Knowe

Classification Enclosure(S) (Period Unassigned), Scooped Settlement (Romano-british)

Canmore ID 59025

Site Number NT81NE 7

NGR NT 85713 17770

NGR Description From NT 85736 17780 to NT 85687 17752

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Morebattle
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Roxburgh
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT81NE 7 from 85736 17780 to 85687 17752

(NT 85713 17770) Enclosure (NR)

OS 6" map, (1962).

Scooped Enclosure, Hayhope Knowe: To the SE of the sheep-stell on the plateau NW of and below the summit of Hayhope Knowe, there are the vestiges of an enclosure so ruinous and irregular that its arrangement can best by seen from the plan (see RCAHMS 1956, fig.473). So far as

can be gathered it includes five courts, four of which have been hollowed out below the surface. All have been enclosed by boulder-faced rubble walls, probably about 6' thick, but now represented by low, grass-grown mounds.

About 20' N of the W court there are the foundations of an oblong building measuring 16' by 24' within walls 3' thick, but there is no evidence to show whether or not this building is contemporary with the enclosure. Air photographs clearly show, however, that the enclosure overlies, and is therefore later than, the system of cultivation terraces noted on NT81NE 36. It is not comparable on plan to the Iron Age scooped settlements of Peeblesshire. (RCAHMS 1967).

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1950.

This settlement with later occupation is generally as described by the RCAHMS except that the footings of the rectangular buildings and slight traces of three possible huts can be seen.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JLD) 24 August 1960 and (EGC) 8 July 1968.

A group of small enclosures as described above. The remains are so fragmented as to preclude positive classificiation.

Resurveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (TRG) 9 August 1976.

Situated on a shelf on the moderate W-facing slope below Hayhope Knowe and overlooking the Kelsocleuch Burn, there is what is clearly a multi-phase site comprising a series of irregular hollows, previously described as courts (RCAHMS 1956) which are, in part, enclosed by low banks and a number of later enclosures or pens. The earliest identifiable element of the complex appears to be a scooped settlement at the W end of the site. There is no apparent entrance to this enclosure. Much of the interior is sunken and overlooked by a terrace, up to 1.25m high, at the E end. What may be a second, larger, scooped enclosure is suggested by a bank to the S which encloses a sunken area containing a number of later pens or enclosures. This later activity has destroyed the original character of this enclosure but a large sub-circular enclosure within a bank 1m wide and open on the S, appears to overlie the smaller of the two scooped enclosures at its E end. A small stone-built structure, which measures about 4m from NW to SE by 3m within walls 0.7m wide and 0.35m high, and is open-sided on the W, lies immediately outside to the S. A third, almost square, enclosure lies to the E. It measures 12m across within low banks spread up to 1m in width and standing up to 0.25m in height. A further pen lies to the N of the site; it measures 8m from ENE to WSW by 6m within a low bank 1m wide and 0.2m high. Although the RCAHMS (1956) observed traces of cultivation terraces (NT81NE 36) (possibly the part of the contour cultivation (NT81NE 36)) below the enclosures, this relationship could not be established at the date of visit.

Information from RJ Mercer (University of Edinburgh) 15 March 1986

RCAHMS MS 2598. No. 46/599


Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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