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Bonchester Bridge

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
  • Alternative name(s)
  • Canmore ID
  • Site type
  • Parish
  • Council
  • NGR
    NT 5848 1190
  • Latitude, longitude
    55.399276N, 2.657132W
  • Archaeological notes
    NT51SE 4 5848 1190. Earthwork, Bonchester Bridge. On the right bank of Hob's Burn, 200 yds. above its junction with Rule Water, there are some slight remains of a small earthwork known as Duncan's Hole. It occupies a narrow tongue of land between two escarpments, one of which borders Hob's Burn, while the other, which lies at an angle of 45 to the first, has been formed by an old channel of Rule Water. Both escarpments are at the most 30 ft. high, and decrease in height towards their point of junction. The artifical defences consist of a rampart and external ditch drawn in a semicircle across the neck of the penisnsula on the S side, and with its ends resting on the edges of the escarpments. The rampart, which was presumably continuous in its original state, is of dump-construction: it has been almost entirely levelled on the W side of a fence which roughly bisects the site from NE to SW, but on the E side of the fence it measures 23 ft. in thickness at the base, 11 ft. in height internally, and 6 ft. in height externally. The ditch measures 25 ft. in width and up to 5 ft. in depth. There are indications of an entrance on the W side leading to Hob's Burn, but the interior, which is roughly pear-shaped, with maximum measurements of 165 ft. from NNE to SSW by 125 ft. from WNW to ESE, has been wrecked by drainage and contains no signs of structures. The earthwork may possibly be mediaeval. RCAHMS 1956, visited 1948 (i) MISCELLANEOUS EARTHWORKS In the absence of excavations, over eighty, earthworks in the county cannot be classifed either because they do not conform to recognised types or because their plans are not sufficiently distinctive. A few of these, occupying commanding positions on hilltops or the crests of ridges, are unlikely to be later than the 11th century; such are Bonchester Hill (No. 278), the group of earthworks on Whitcastle Hill (No. 865), and five roughly D-shaped earthworks lying within a radius of two miles between the River Teviot and the Slitrig Water- Gray Hill 2 (No. 999), Birny Knowe (No. 995), Crom Rig (No. 1000), Dodburn (No. 160, ii), and Pen Sike (No. 168)- which are characterised by ramparts massive in proportion to their size. The majority, however, are situated on hillsides or in the bottoms of valleys, generally below the 800 ft. contour, and are probably mediaeval. Most of these lower-lying structures, of which the outstanding examples are Timpendean (No. 435), Iron Castle (No. 945), and Scraesburgh (No. 466), were evidently designed for habitation and presumably contained wooden buildings; but a few of the simpler earthworks such as Huntly Burn (No. 51) may have been enclosures for stock. RCAHMS 1956 NT 5848 1190. This earthwork is as described by RCAHMS. There is no trace of the external ditch on the east side of the fence bisecting the earthwork from NE to SW. Surveyed at 1/2500. Visited by OS (WDJ) 25 March 1965
  • Architectural notes

Related material information


  • 55329 (1948)
    PTS, pencil RCAHMS
  • 55329 ()
    Plan, ink, 1":25' RCAHMS 48 Inv. 279

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Roxburghshire, Sheet XXVI1858

1st edition 25-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Roxburgh, Sheet 026.111858
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Roxburgh, Sheet 026.111858