The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Crichton Souterrain



Crichton Mains Souterrain
Winter 1990
I first found out about this place after one of my mates had sold his camper van to a guy who was into battle re-enactments and who had a local historical knowledge. So- on one of our mad Sunday afternoon outings we all piled out here. We knew it was in a field somewhere east of Crichton village and under some pylons. Luckily, the time of the year we visited the field was kinda bare and the big grassy clump gave the spot away. We strode out across the field with much gusto and determination completely oblivious to actually owned it! The entrance is really small and low- but the chamber itself is about 15 m long in the form of an arc with the ceiling about 2 m high. This structure has a great number of Roman dressed blocks that were used in its constriction and one of the ceiling lintels still has a rough Pegasus carved on it (the emblem of Legio II Augusta). It's though that the material possibly came from an adjacent military Roman road-post. Anyways- we all piled into the structure and were sitting in the quiet darkness soaking up the atmosphere when all of a sudden a thunderstorm broke overhead. We all took one look at each other and clambered out as fast as possible- I've never since seen half a dozen grown men move so fast!
PS- be sure to visit Crichton Castle at NT380612- a cracker!

From Edinburgh head south-east to Dalkeith. Take the A68 out of Dalkeith to Pathhead, then the B6367 on the right. Go through Crichton (blink and you'll miss it!) and take the next road left. The souterrain is in the field on the right past the small woods and under the pylons. Be sure and ask permission at one of the farms-not sure which- woops!
Posted by Martin
15th December 2001ce

Comments (1)

I have visited this wonderful site many times over the last twenty years. It has a wonderful situation on a gently sloping field looking down onto a rounded conical hill two fields below. A few miles beyond that the Firth of Forth reaches over to the Kingdom of Fife and the mighty paps of the Lomond Hills. I used to work in nearby Gorebridge and would often drive up here to eat my sandwiches at lunchtime.
The souterrain is a great crawl in. The dressed roman blocks are in great condition having been out of the weather for two thousand years. However recently someone has vandalised the site by spraying luminous green/ yellow spray paint all over the blocks. I dont know if it can be cleaned off without damaging the stone. A tragedy for such an unusual site.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
16th October 2009ce
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