The Hawkshaw Castle site was surveyed by the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland (RCAHMS) in June 1960.   The site is one of nearly 700 sites recorded in the Register for Peeblesshire.  The survey was carried out before the construction of the Fruid Reservoir.  The report of the survey of the Hawkshaw site. No 509 follows:-

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The Hawkshaw farmhouse mentioned in the above report and others are now under the waters of the Fruid reservoir.  There is a good photograph of the farmhouse on the Porteous Project web site.  This shows the farm surounded by trees which is also indicated on the OS map of 1860 in the Hawkshaw Picture Gallery - Link below.  Also in the  Picture Gallery Photographs of very low water levels in 2004 of the reservoir showing tree stumps adjacent to the Chapel Burn.

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The Castle site is the ancestral home of the Porteous Clan and have a memorial there.   The Clan have a gathering every five years at the site - the next will be in 2015.   A feature of the gathering was a meal at the Crook Inn in Tweedsmuir but as mentioned elsewhere this has sadly closed and at present is lying derelict.  

The report mentions plough riggs and earthworks around the castle site. Some of these can be seen in the above photograph.  The report mentions an enclosure on the lower slopes of Little Dod I think that this should read Benner Dod.  This enclosure can been seen on one of the photographs and also on the OS map of 1860. The report also mentions a large rectangular building in one of the enclosures - I wonder for what purpose this building was used - a cow shed perhaps?

os1860map02

Despite the fact that Amstrong stated that the Burial Ground was close to the Castle he did not show the Castle Site on his map.  The burn that passed close to Hawkshaw farmhouse is the Chapel Burn.  This could mean that the lost chapel and burial ground mentioned in  the report was close to the farm.   However the appellation of Chapel to this burn could have been added at any time.   A more likely location of the chapel was further south in the Fruid Valley namely Priesthope and its associated burn which still flows into the reservoir or possibly even a location in the Hawkshaw burn valley either north or south of the castle site.  It is unfortunate that more is not known about the burial ground as apart from members of the Porteous family there are probably Frasers, Welshs, Hunters etc also interred there.

 

Tony Hope