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Carby Hill

Settlement (Prehistoric)

Site Name Carby Hill

Classification Settlement (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 67896

Site Number NY48SE 7

NGR NY 49060 84360

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT48SE 7 49060 84360

(NY 4905 8435) Enclosed Hut Group (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

The fort (R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1956, visited 1949) walled settlement (R W Feachem 1965) crowning the conspicuous summit of Carby Hill (875 ft OD) consists of an oval enclosure measuring 285 ft by 225 ft within the massive ruin of a stone wall which must originally have measured 10 ft or 12 ft in thickness. The inner edge of the tumble is followed by the ruin of a relatively recent dry-stone dyke. The interior contains at least six circular stone-walled hut foundations (twelve are noted by J Maughan 1868) probably of 2nd century AD or later date. This fort might possibly represent an unusually large example of this kind of late settlement, but it is also possible that it originally contained timber-framed houses of which no surface traces now remain, and that it dates from pre-Roman times.

This probable settlement has dimensions as stated. The tumbled walling is spread to a maximum width of 8.0m in the S, but is largely robbed and grassed-over around the N and E. The only trace of facing material is a 4.0m length of grounder blocks in the SE, and of several breaks around the circuit, a 4.0m wide depression on the W side is the probable entrance.

In the interior are six hut circles from 8.0m to 11.0m in diameter over walling up to 2.5m wide. Only a vague stone spread of a probable seventh survives. One hut (A on plan) has a shallow ditch around its S side and the remains of a stone bank (? double wall) round its N side. Other amorphous scoops and stone spreads may be contemporary but are unclear. The prominent situation with steep slopes all round, except on the SE, together with the strength of the wall and possible timber house platforms, indicate that this was possibly a fort superseded by a later settlement.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (JRL) 20 August 1979


Note (3 July 2014 - 23 May 2016)

This fort is situated on the summit of Carby Hill and its wall was heavily robbed of stones in the 1820s. Nevertheless, it is oval on plan and measures about 86m from NNE to SSW by 68m transversely (0.48ha) within a band of rubble spread up to 8m in thickness on the S. The wall probably measured in the order of 3m in thickness, though the only evidence of either face is a short run of the outer on the SE; a later field wall extending around its inner margin may mask the line of the inner face. Four gaps in the line of the wall have been noted, one on the SW, another on the NNW and two on the E; that on the SW has the appearance of being original and the status of the others is uncertain. Within the interior the stone footings of at least six round-houses can be seen; they measure in the order of 7m in internal diameter and one appears to have a concentric bank around it.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC1130

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding earthwork or monument.

Information from Scottish Borders Council

Sbc Note

There may be a watch tower, built for forestry purposes in this area.

Information from Scottish Borders Council Historic Environment Record



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