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Issue 89 - The Cademuir Community

Scotland Magazine Issue 89
October 2016

 

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The Cademuir Community

Keith Fergus enjoys a breathtaking Borders vista

The bustling Scottish Borders town of Peebles is surrounded by some of the highest hills in Southern Scotland, including the renowned Glensax Horseshoe. Cademuir Hill, however, rises to just 407 metres in height; this makes it one of the smaller hills bordering Peebles, but still it is no less interesting than its somewhat loftier neighbours.

Several thousand years ago, the summit ridge above Cademuir Hill was home to two forts where a substantial community enjoyed its fine vantage point. Dating from the early Iron Age, both forts were extensive, but of particular interest is the higher fort, which is thought to have housed around 40 timber-framed buildings. This would have been built when the lower fort became too small for the community living there.

The River Tweed threads its way around the fringes of Cademuir Hill’s lower slopes and may well have provided food and a means of transport for those living there. It is thought that both forts were abandoned when the Romans advanced around AD80 and it seems that they were never used again.

It’s easy to enjoy this view for yourself. A simple walk leaves from Peebles and follows the John Buchan Way to the top of Cademuir Hill. Upon arrival at the summit a breathtaking panorama reveals itself and the aforementioned Glensax Horseshoe, including the peaks of Dun Rig and Hundleshope Heights, is prominent. Further afield, the Broughton Heights; Culter Fell, near Biggar; and the Pentland Hills above Edinburgh are all visible.