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The Chesters, Penmanshiel

Cist(S) (Prehistoric), Fort (Prehistoric), Quern

Site Name The Chesters, Penmanshiel

Classification Cist(S) (Prehistoric), Fort (Prehistoric), Quern

Canmore ID 59808

Site Number NT86NW 15

NGR NT 80140 67550

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT86NW 15 NT 80140 67550

(NT 8014 6755) Earthwork (NR) (site of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976).

The Chesters: This name applies to two circular camps, that described on NT86NW 12, and this one, bounded by a single ring, now almost obliterated by ploughing.

Name Book 1856.

This fortification, known as 'The Chesters', was situated at the head of a bank in a field W of Old Penmanshiel.

It occupied an area of about an acre, bounded by a single but very strong elevated ring. The fort contains two compartments, one possibly for human occupation, the other for cattle. It was finally removed about 1831, when two or three 'slab-formed graves' (cists) were turned up. A quern was also recovered from the ruins.

J Hardy 1856.

An oval fort, measuring some 189ft by 153ft, surrounded by a single rampart, now almost obliterated. Situated some 60 yds NE of NT86NW 12, and some 20ft higher in elevation.

RCAHMS 1915, visited 1909.

The outline of this earthwork is visible only as a vague swelling of circualr form, in undulating ground now under cultivation. It occupies a level area on a gentle slope.

Its outline is visible on RAF aerial photographs 106G Scot/UK11: 5018-9. Visited by OS(JFC) 27 October 1954.

No trace of this earthwork can now be seen, but the area is very stony. The crop marks of the rampart and two inner compartments can be seen on aerial photographs (OS.65.2: 622-3).

The name 'The Chesters' is still known locally.

Visited by OS(RD) 22 December 1965.

The wasted remains of a fort measuring about 60m by 50m over a rampart and ditch.

RCAHMS 1980, visited 1979.


Field Visit (May 1909)

53. Fort, Penmanshiel.

Some 60 yards north-east of No. 52 [NT86NW 12] and some 30 feet higher in elevation is the site of another fort, oval in form, measuring some 189 feet by 153 feet and surrounded by a single rampart now almost obliterated.

RCAHMS 1915, visited May 1909.

OS Map, Ber., iv. NE.

Sbc Note (21 March 2016)

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

Information from Scottish Borders Council

Previously also listed under duplicate site NT96SW 510 -CANCELLED. HES (LCK) 11.6.2024


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