Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3847: Green Castle  

(Newlands Burn)

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HER:  East Lothian Council MEL685

NMR:  NT 56 NE 3 (56084)

SM:  747

NGR:  NT 5818 6569

X:  358180  Y:  665690  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fortification occupies a promontory that has been isolated by natural gullies to form a steep-sided hillock. Roughly triangular on plan, it measures 68m from NE to SW by 58m transversely (0.3ha) within the inner rampart, though for much of the circuit this has been reduced to little more than a raised lip. Partly exploiting a natural gully on the SE, the rampart is also accompanied by a massive external ditch, which has been sunk some 6m below the level of the interior on the SE, and carried around the NE end and along the N flank. An outer rampart has also been piled up along its counterscarp, and a second ditch has been dug along the SE flank from the NE end. On the SW, the deeply incised stream gully seems to replace the inner ditch, and the outer bank and ditch have been continued along the lip of the escarpment forming its far side of the gully. The entrance is on the W, approached from the N by a trackway which mounts the slope between the end of the outer rampart and the burn and turns in between the terminals of the inner rampart at the NW end of the SW side. Traces of a rectangular structure are visible within the interior. The character of the defences is unusual and shares more in common with medieval earthwork castles than Iron Age forts.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed:  Generally accepted as a fort, though there is a possibility that this is an undocumented earthwork castle.

Location

X:  -297231  Y:  7535075  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.670076  Latitude:  55.882575  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  East Lothian

Historic County:   East Lothian

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Garvald And Bara

Condition

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Woodland:  
Commercial Forestry Plantation:  
Parkland:  
Pasture (Grazing):  
Arable:  
Scrub/Bracken:  
Bare Outcrop:  
Heather/Moorland:  
Heath:  
Built-up:  
Coastal Grassland:  
Other:  

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Contour Fort:  
Partial Contour Fort:  
Promontory Fort:  
Hillslope Fort:  
Level Terrain Fort:  
Marsh Fort:  
Multiple Enclosure Fort:  

Topographic Position

Hilltop:  
Coastal Promontory:  
Inland Promontory:  
Valley Bottom:  
Knoll/Hillock/Outcrop:  
Ridge:  
Cliff/Plateau-edge/Scarp:  
Hillslope:  
Lowland:  
Spur:  

Dominant Topographic Feature:  

Aspect

North:  
Northeast:  
East:  
Southeast:  
South:  
Southwest:  
West:  
Northwest:  
Level:  

Elevation

Altitude:  290.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

In the absence of excavation, there are neither stratified artefacts nor radiocarbon dates to provide a chronology for the defences.

Reliability:  D - None

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Planted with trees, probably since 1773

None:  No details.

Investigations

Photographed by CUCAP in 1953, and RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1982, 1983, 1988, 2008 and 2010

1st Identified Map Depiction (1773):  Concentric ring symbol on Andrew and Mostyn Armstrong's Map of the three Lothians (1773)
1st Identified Written Reference (1794):  Noted (Stat Acct, xiii, 1794. 362n)
Other (1853):  Annotated Fort on the 1st edition OS 6-inch map (Haddingtonshire 1855, sheet 15)
Other (1892):  Depicted on the OS 25-inch map (Haddingtonshire 1894, sheet 16.9)
Earthwork Survey (1913):  Plan and description (RCAHMS 1924, 32-3, no.46, fig 67; RCAHMS ELD 76/2V & ELD 12/1-4)
Other (1923):  Scheduled
Other (1954):  Description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (Feachem 1963, 123)
Other (1965):  Resurveyed at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1969):  Re-Scheduled
Other (1979):  Visited by the OS

Interior Features

Traces of a rectangular structure can be seen within the interior.

Water Source

None:  
Spring:  
Stream:  
Pool:  
Flush:  
Well:  
Other:  

Surface

No Known Features:  
Round Stone Structures:  
Rectangular Stone Structures:  
Curvilinear Platforms:  
Other Roundhouse Evidence:  
Pits:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  

Excavation

No Known Excavation:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Geophysics

No Known Geophysics:  
Pits:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Finds

No Known Finds:  
Pottery:  
Metal:  
Metalworking:  
Human Bones:  
Animal Bones:  
Lithics:  
Environmental:  
Other:  

Aerial

NO APPARENT FEATURES

APs Not Checked:  
None:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Other:  

Entrances

See main summary

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (West):  Simple Gap

Enclosing Works

Two ramparts with a medial ditch, with an additional ditch on two sides

Enclosed Area 1:  0.3ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.3ha.

Total Footprint Area:  1.1ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  2

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  2

Current Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  
Unknown:  

Multi-period Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:  
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  

Surface Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Rubble:  
Wall-walk:  
Evidence of Timber:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
Other:  

Excavated Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Murus Duplex:  
Timber-framed:  
Timber-laced:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
No Known Excavation:  
Other:  

Gang Working

Gang Working:  ✗ 

Ditches

Ditches:  

Number of Ditches:  2:  a second ditch on two sides

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Feachem, R W (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. Batsford: London

RCAHMS (1924) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eighth report with Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the County of East Lothian. HMSO: Edinburgh

Terms of Use

The online version of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland should be cited as:

Lock, G. and Ralston, I. 2017.  Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk.

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