Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3880: Chesters  

(Chesters Farm)

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

HER:  East Lothian Council MEL1041

NMR:  NT 57 SE 49 (56442)

SM:  6044

NGR:  NT 5671 7061

X:  356713  Y:  670616  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort or fortified settlement is situated on the N shoulder of a low rounded hill, exploiting the steeper slopes that fall away to Chesters on the N and NW. Oval on plan, it is known only from the placename and cropmarks on aerial photographs, some of which reveal traces of the scar of an internal rampart some 5m thick immediately within a ditch up to 4m in breadth. The interior measures about 70m from E to W by 50m transversely (0.27ha), and there are broad entrances on both the ESE and the W. Indeed at about 13m, these entrances are so wide that it suggest that the rampart may have returned around the terminals of the ditches, though no evidence of an outer rampart has yet been recorded.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -299930  Y:  7543838  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.694315  Latitude:  55.926702  (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:  156.0m

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:  ✓  Ploughed flat

None:  No details.

Investigations

Photographed by John Dewar in 1975 and 1976 (held by RCAHMS), and RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1976, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2005

1st Identified Written Reference (1975):  Photographed by John Dewar
Other (1994):  Scheduled

Interior Features

Some images show what appear to be faint traces of a slightly eccentric enclosure within the interior, previously interpreted as a palisade trench, but this may be part of the definition of the interior represented by the scar of the rampart visible on other photographs

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

Possible traces of what is either an internal enclosure or the extent of the interior within the rampart

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

Entrances

See main summary

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  2:  The perimeter is ploughed flat

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (East):  Passage-way/Corridor:  Broad gap possibly indicating that inner and outer ramparts have united around the terminals of the ditch
Entrance 1 (East):  Simple Gap
Entrance 2 (West):  Passage-way/Corridor:  Broad gap possibly indicating that inner and outer ramparts have united around the terminals of the ditch
Entrance 2 (West):  Simple Gap

Enclosing Works

One ditch with at least an inner rampart and possibly originally an outer too

Enclosed Area 1:  0.27ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.3ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  1

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

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

Scar of the inner rampart visible on aerial photographs

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:  1

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

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.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.