Scheduled Monument

Horsburgh CastleSM6284

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort), Secular: tower
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 28514 39162
328514, 639162


This monument comprises the remains of a late medieval tower-house and the traces of an earlier hill fort.

The tower sits at the top of a low domed hill. The entire E side of the building is now missing but the other walls still stand to a height of about 6m. Consolidation in the last century has obscured much of the evidence of arrangement of the tower but it appears that the ground floor was vaulted and the stair was in an outshot at the E end of the N wall.

The tower sits almost exactly in the centre of a hill fort which is only apparent on aerial photographs. The entrance appears to have been to the north with a double ditch. The fort has been slightly eaten into by a quarry on the south side of the hill.

The area to be scheduled is circular, centred on the tower, 100m in diameter but excluding that part of the circle which coincides with the quarry. It is marked in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance as the well-preserved remains of a sixteenth century towerhouse. Judging by the depth of deposits within the tower the archaeology of the site has not been cleared. The fact that the tower is near the centre of a much older fort may not be entirely coincidental since it is not known how the fort had survived into the sixteenth century. This site, as well as offering the potential to increase our knowledge of two separate periods of occupation may also be able to increase our knowledge of monument decay rates and how ancient remains were viewed in Renaissance Scotland.



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 23 NE 6.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 22/05/2019 16:07