Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC4104: Marygoldhill Plantation  

(Marygold Plantation; Bunkle Edge)

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HER:  Scottish Borders 59927

NMR:  NT 86 SW 3 (59927)

SM:  375

NGR:  NT 8072 6051

X:  380720  Y:  660510  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort is situated across a gentle slope dropping into the shoulder of a slight spur on the leading edge of Bunkle Edge above Marygold. The fort, which is almost certainly one of those depicted in 1771 on Andrew and Mostyn Armstrong's Map of the County of Berwick (1771), appears on the later map of The County of Berwick by T Sharp, Christopher Greenwood, and William Fowler of The County of Berwick (1826), but shortly after was planted with trees, thus escaping the attention of the OS surveyors who in 1857 annotated the large outlying enclosure on the NW as a camp. The latter, which was bulldozed in the early 1980s had a rock-cut ditch up to 3m deep (Strong 1988) and is one of a number of ditched enclosures found around forts in Berwickshire and East Lothian, though none has been dated and their relationships to the forts found within them are unknown. This is no less true at Marygoldhill Plantation, where the rectilinear enclosure measured 515m in length from NE to SW, with angles on the N and W, and enclosed at least 6ha upslope from the fort. Now cleared of trees, the fort itself is oval on plan, measuring about 98m from NE to SW by 78m transversely (0.6ha) within twin ramparts with a medial ditch; the inner rampart stands between 1m and 2m above the level of the interior and up to 3m above the bottom of the broad ditch. There is a probable entrance on the WNW, where the E terminal turns slighlty inside the line of the W terminal, and probably a second on the opposite side of the interior on the ESE, though this sector has been mutilated by subsequent occupation and there are two gaps in the circuit here; another gap on the NNW is almost certainly relatively recent. The remains of the later occupation have two elements, namely a cluster of five stone-founded round-houses identified by James Hewat Craw on the ESE side of the interior, and an external rectilinear annexe on the NE, apparently springing from the counterscarp rampart adjacent to the western of the two gaps on this side, and returning on the NNW; though Francis Lynn's plan suggests it may have crossed in front of the entrance on the NW to mount the W terminal of the inner rampart. The interior of this annexe measures up to 90m across from NNW to SSE (0.3ha); it is subdivided by several banks and may also have contained several stone-founded round-houses

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -257082  Y:  7526128  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.309403  Latitude:  55.837466  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Scottish Borders

Historic County:   Berwickshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Bunkle And Preston

Condition

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Planted with trees in the early 19th century, it is now cleared but under deep bracken

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:  236.0m

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:  ✓  Probably overlain by a late Iron Age settlement and planted with trees in the early 19th century

None:  No details.

Investigations

The fort itself was omitted from the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Berwick 1862, sheet 10.8), presumably because it was hidden in dense trees, but the outlying earthworks, from which a pitted boundary sprung, are shown on the moor to the NW Photographed by John Dewar in 1971 (held by RCAHMS) and by RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1981, 2000 and 2008, although it is only recently that it has been entirely cleared of trees

1st Identified Map Depiction (1771):  Concentric ring on a hill symbol on Andrew and Mostyn Armstrong's Map of the County of Berwick (1771) and almost certainly one of the two shown here
Other (1857):  Outer earthwork annotated Camp on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Berwick 1862, sheet 10.8)
Earthwork Survey (1895):  Plan and description by Francis Lynn (1895)
Other (1898):  Annotated Fort on the 2nd edition OS 25-inch map (Berwickshire 1899, sheet 10.8)
Other (1908):  Description (RCAHMS 1909, 4, no.17)
Earthwork Survey (1912):  Plan by James Hewat Craw and description (RCAHMS 1915, 7-8, no.18, fig 5; RCAHMS BWD 18/1; BWD 18/1/6 & DP225493)
Other (1939):  Scheduled
Other (1950):  Description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands; nine sherds of coarse pottery found (Feachem 1963, 112)
Other (1954):  Visited by the OS
Other (1966):  Resurveyed at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1979):  Description by RCAHMS and survey of the outlying earthworks to the NW
Other (2009):  Re-Scheduled

Interior Features

Probably contains several stone-founded round-houses, though they are heavily obscured by bracken, as are several ther banks within the interior.

Water Source

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

Surface

Identified by James Hewat Craw about 1912, but now obscured by dense bracken

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

Nine sherds of coarse pottery recovered by RCAHMS investigators in 1950

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:  4:  One of the gaps on the ESE is probably caused by the later occupation, and a gap on the NNW is the result of more recent traffic

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Southeast):  Simple Gap:  Obscured by the later occupation
Entrance 2 (Northwest):  Oblique:  Slight stagger of the rampart terminals suggesting oblique approach to expose the visitor's left side

Enclosing Works

Twin ramparts with a medial ditch

Enclosed Area 1:  0.6ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.6ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

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:  2
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

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:  ✗  A rectilinear annexe of 0.3ha appears to be an addition on the NE side of the fort and is as likely to be associated with the later settlement as the fort itself

References

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

Lynn, F (1897) 'Bunkle Edge forts'. Hist Berwickshire Natur Club 15 (1894-5), 365-76

RCAHMS (1909) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. First report and Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the County of Berwick. HMSO: Edinburgh.

RCAHMS (1915) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Sixth report and Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in the County of Berwick (Revised Issue). HMSO: Edinburgh

Strong, P (1988) 'Pit alignment and earthworks between Marygoldhill Plantation and Drakemire, Berwickshire'. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 118 (1988), 111-29

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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