Edins Hall Broch, Scottish Borders
Abbey St Bathans, Duns
B road off B6355
Nr TD11 3TX
Edin's Hall Broch and Hillfort was built c. 140 AD within a much larger and earlier Iron Age hillfort, on the lower slopes of an even earlier hillfort, Crockburn Law, positioned higher up on the summit of the ridge dating about 800 BC - 43 AD.
It is unclear whether Crockburn Law and Edin's Hall Broch were occupied at the same time, but I think likely the latter replaced the earlier fort.
The position of Edin's Hall Broch maximises the strong natural defences for its northern side is protected by a steep scarp that descends down to White Adder Water. The hillfort that it was built within includes twelve Iron Age roundhouses defended by a double line of ditches and ramparts. The circular Broch has drystone walls of more than 15 feet thick, with staircases and chambers built within the thickness of its walls. A narrow passageway leads through the thick defensive walls that would have stood high overlooking the hillfort, into the circular courtyard that may have once been roofed, although this is uncertain.
The site's modern name derives from the fairy tale about the 'Red Ettin', a three headed beast that lived in the area. Others suggest its name derives from Norse Odin's Hall. Whatever the truth, this is an exceptional site containing three individual forts, which includes the fabulous remains of the lower level of a Broch that you would normally associate more with the Highlands of Scotland.
Access to this fascinating site is best reached from the road south of Abbey St Bathans, where there is limited parking on the roadside, within a short walk to the start of the signposted footpath that will take you to the Broch. Good waterproof walking boots are recommended for this lovely walk which takes in some beautiful views of the Scottish Borders.