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Fort (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)(Possible)

Site Name Aytonlaw

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned), Souterrain (Prehistoric)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) 8 Aytonlaw Cottages; Eye Water

Canmore ID 60262

Site Number NT96SW 7

NGR NT 91180 60880

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NT96SW 7 NT 91190 60880

(A: NT 9118 6088; B: NT 9102 6087) Earthworks (NR) (sites of)

(For 'B', see NT96SW 6.)

OS 6" map, (1970).

Not to be confused with cropmarks of fort at NT 9102 6087, for which see NT96SW 6.

A: This circular fort lies 66 yds NE of that described on NT96SW 6. A much obliterated single rampart has followed the crest of a natural ridge on the W and N sides of the fort; the S side is ill-defined.

J H Craw 1921; J K St Joseph, flown 1948.

Situated on gently sloping ground, and consisting of a nearly circular shallow depressed area 70m in diameter E-W, surrounded by a much-spread rampart 0.6m in high and 10m broad except on the S quadrant where the rampart has disappeared.

Visited by OS(JFC) 2 November 1954.

Generally as described in the previous field report. A short length of what may have been a second rampart, now much spread, can be seen on the N side.

Sited to NT 9118 6088 at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 17 February 1966.

Cropmarks show a double ditched fort; the interior, measuring about 35m across, can be seen as a depression in the surface of the ground.

RCAHMS 1980, visited 1979.

Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1980.

RCAHMS AP catalogue 1980.

Scheduled as '8 Aytonlaw Cottages, fort 210m W of... the remains of a multi-vallate promontory fort... visible as a cropmark... on oblique aerial photographs.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 30 March 2009.


Note (19 February 2016 - 30 May 2016)

This fort, the eastern of two (See Atlas No.4133), is situated on gently shelving ground dropping into edge of the steep escarpment above the N bank of a meander of the Eye Water WSW of Aytonlaw. First recorded by James Hewat Craw about 1920 as a roughly circular depression in the surface of the field some 65m in diameter, both the scooped interior and the inner ditch were still visible on the ground when visited by RCAHMS investigators in 1979, but cropmarks reveal that the two ditches of the defences describe an open ended U-shape on plan, backing onto the edge of the escarpment on the SSW. The scar of the inner rampart encloses an area measuring about 60m from ESE to WNW parallel to the escarpment by 55m transversely (0.3ha). The two ditches are set between 3m and 4m apart, the inner being about 7m broad and the outer up to 5m, and there is a faint scar of a counterscarp rampart outside the outer on the NW. The entrance is on the ESE, where a clearly defined causeway crosses both ditches just short of the edge of the escarpment. A large irregular macula occupies most of the interior, reflecting the accumulation of deeper sediments in the scoop, but several angular shapes around its fringes suggest the presence of rectangular buildings, and it may even have been reoccupied as a farmstead in the post-medieval period.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 30 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC4134

Sbc Note

Visibility: This site is visible as a cropmark.

Information from Scottish Borders Council


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