The discoveries were made during a Scottish Water project to lay a new water main on the outskirts of Selkirk. The archaeologists uncovered the foundations of stone built structures, cobbled farmyards and the foundations of walls, buildings and hearths. Artefacts included a decorated stone spindle whorl, medieval pottery and pivot stones, thought to have been used as a hinge for doors on buildings.
It is likely that these remains are from a village called Philiphaugh. The first known reference to it occurred on March 10, 1316 when King Robert I granted the the wester part of the lands of Philiphaugh to one William ‘called Turnbull’ and the eastern part of the lands to William Barbitonsor. There are scattered references to Philiphaugh in administrative records during the Middle Ages and as late as the 18th century, with 57 individuals living there in 1694.
Having studied the findings closely archaeologists believe that there is likely to have been a small agricultural settlement located along the edge of the valley floor in the late medieval and early post-medieval periods. Their final report concludes “These investigations demonstrate that there was a thriving farming community in the immediate area, one that was ‘lost’ in the later farming improvements that restructured farms and fields.”
Dr Chris Bowles, Archaeology Officer with Scottish Borders Council, commented, “This is a significant addition to our knowledge of where and how people lived in the medieval Scottish Borders.”
Simon Brassey, of Scottish Water’s specialist engineering environment team, added, “When working in areas of archaeological impact and find artefacts you are continually surprised what you uncover.”
Click here to read the report: ARO11: Battle site and medieval settlement, the enigma of Yarrowford/Philiphaugh, Selkirk
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