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Blackcastle Rings

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Record Detail

  • Organisation
    RCAHMS
  • Alternative name(s)
    N/A
  • Canmore ID
    57300
  • Site type
    PROMONTORY FORT, RIG AND FURROW
  • Parish
    GREENLAW
  • Council
    BERWICKSHIRE
  • NGR
    NT 6935 4785
  • Latitude, longitude
    55.723089N, 2.48951W
  • Archeological notes
    NT64NE 5 6935 4785. (NT 6935 4785) Blackcastle Rings (NR) OS 6"map, (1957). 'Blackcastle Rings': This promontory fort is situated above the left bank of the Blackadder Water, a short distance below its junction with the Fangrist Burn, at a height of 679ft OD. Two earthen ramparts, accompanied by external ditches, cut off a steep-sided, V-shaped promontory (see plan RCAHMS 1915); the broad end of the interior measures about 220ft, and the sides somewhat less. The inner rampart measures some 6ft high internally, while its associated ditch is at most some 14ft deep and 34ft wide. The second rampart, 35ft away, is 3ft high internally, and its ditch, which has a low mound on the counterscarp, is some 28 to 30ft wide. The entrance may have been at the N end of the ramparts, where the outer rampart turns slightly outwards. RCAHMS 1915, visited 1908. This monument, classified as an earthwork by both the OS and Society of Antiquities field surveyors, is still generally as described by the RCAHMS. The enclosed area (given as 45m in length by 63m in maximum breadth - RCAHMS 1980) has decreased very little since the 1908 plan, erosion having apparently been slower than the bare banks would suggest (OS field surveyor {CJP} visited 1 October 1956). Revised at 1/2500. Visited by OS(RDL) 22 August 1963. RCAHMS 1980, visited 1979. The New Statistical Account, followed by the Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB) and Wilson, states that a piece of a silver chain was found within Blackcastle Rings. However, Smith (J A Smith 1875), quoting a description of the find, states that it was found nearby, in what was then identified as Herrit's Dyke (Lin 531). (However, this could be an allusion to the Black Dyke described on NT64NE 6, and it should be noted that natural features adjacent to and running N of Blackcastle Rings were considered to be part of this work.) It was so oxidised that it was given to the blacksmith at Greenlaw, who was intending to use it to repair the chain of a cart harness (its identification by authorities 8-12 as comparable with massive Pictish chains has derived from this circumstance) when its true nature was discovered and it was sent to Lord Marchmont, who died in 1794. The chain is now lost. (The illustration given in Proc Soc Antiq Scot 73 is erroneous.) New Statistical Account (NSA, A Home written 1834) 1845; Name Book 1857; D Wilson 1863; W Elliot 1872; Lord Dunglas and J A Smith 1881; A J H Edwards 1939; R B K Stevenson 1956. The Blackcastle Rings are visible on a vertical air photograph (OS 70/364/006, flown 1970). Information form RCAHMS, 1997
  • Architectural notes
    N/A

Related material information

  • 57300 (1920)
    Notebook containing notes on Berwickshire Forts; list of Berwickshire Peels; separate list of Berwickshire Towers and Dovecots, "Particulars of Forts"

SCANNED IMAGES

  • 881984 (1993)
    Oblique aerial view.
  • 749806 (1993)
    Oblique aerial view centred on Blackcastle Rings fort.
  • 775647 ()
    Aerial view.

PHOTOGRAPHS

  • 57300 (1993)
  • 57300 (1993)
  • 57300 (1993)
  • 57300 (1993)
  • 57300 (1993)
    Oblique aerial view centred on Blackcastle Rings fort.
  • 57300 (1993)
  • 57300 (1993)
    Oblique aerial view.

DIGITAL IMAGES

  • 1127646 (2/11/2008)
    Oblique aerial view of the remains of the fort and rig and furrow at Blackcastle Rings, taken from the NNW.
  • 1127645 (2/11/2008)
    Oblique aerial view of the remains of the fort and rig and furrow at Blackcastle Rings, taken from the N.
  • 1127644 (2/11/2008)
    Oblique aerial view of the remains of the fort and rig and furrow at Blackcastle Rings, taken from the ESE.
  • 1127643 (2/11/2008)
    Oblique aerial view of the remains of the fort and rig and furrow at Blackcastle Rings, taken from the SE.
  • 57300 (1915)
    (9) Plan, 1":200' RCAHMS c.1910 Inv. No. 29 Fig. 11

PRINTS AND DRAWINGS

  • 57300 (1915)
    (9) Plan, 1":200' RCAHMS c.1910 Inv. No. 29 Fig. 11

1st edition 6-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey six-inch to the mile, Berwickshire, Sheet XXI1857

1st edition 25-inch maps

TitleDateOther parishes/counties
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Berwick, Sheet 021.071857
 Ordnance Survey 25 inch to the mile Berwick, Sheet 021.071857