Clatchard Craig

Fort, Unidentified Flint (flint), Unidentified Pottery (neolithic)

Site Name Clatchard Craig

Classification Fort, Unidentified Flint (flint), Unidentified Pottery (neolithic)

Alternative Name(s) Clatchard's Craig

Canmore ID 30074

Site Number NO21NW 18

NGR NO 2435 1780

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Abdie
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO21NW 18 2435 1780

For cist and urn, gold finger-ring, carved stone ball, saddle quern and pottery from Clatchard Craig, see NO21NW 20, NO21NW 22, NO21NW 33, NO21NW 34, NO21NW 75 respectively.

(NO 2435 1780) Fort (NR)

OS 1:10,560 map, 1959.

The fort on Clatchard Craig has now been quarried away, but rescue excavations, carried out for the Ministry of Works in 1954,1959 and 1960 revealed that it comprised three main structural phases, the latest being the sub-rectangular enclosure on top, which measured 230' by c. 115' from which relics of Dark Age date were obtained. This stood within a heavy oval rampart, 330' by 200'. The next rampart overlay a series of hearths in which pottery was found, and in this rampart was found masonry block with adherent mortar in which were fragments of tile. The third rampart, like the two preceding was timber-laced, later replaced by earth and stone, and at one point the stones were vitrified. There were a further two ramparts with minor additions and supplementary features.

Numerous finds of IA date were made and are now in the NMAS.

Two spindle whorls are in Perth Museum. (Acc No 20/1966)

RCAHMS 1933; P R Ritchie 1954; S Cruden 1959; S Cruden 1960; R W Feachem 1963; R Butchard 1967.

The fort has been completley destroyed by quarrying.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 20 May 1970.

Defences trenched by P R Ritchie in 1953-4, and further excavation by R Hope-Simpson in 1959 and 1960; since destroyed by quarrying.

Neolithic pottery found and burnt and broken flint tool of Neolithic or Bronze Age date.

Iron smithing slag found in outer enclosure: may be of Iron Age or Dark Age date.

Finds of Iron Age date; stone disc (possibly spindle whorl roughout), pottery, clay ball, bronze ring, shale ring, shale bracelet.

Finds of Roman date or possibly so; Samian pottery, rotary quernstone. Dark Age finds; openwork ornament, pin from penannular brooch, small pelta-decorated disc, pottery (E-ware), clay moulds and metalworking debris, glass bead, silver ingot.

Radiocarbon dates;

Rampart 1 390+-55 bc GU-1794

Rampart 1 600+-75 bc GU-1795

Rampart 2 475+-55 bc GU-1796

Rampart 3 480+-60 bc GU 1797

Rampart 3 550+-55 bc GU-1798

Clatchard Craig: Summary of Use of Hill:

(The numbered events are not necessarily consecutive. Related events in brackets.)

1. Neolithic

1 Earlier Neolithic pottery deposited.

2 Late Neolithic stone ball lost.

(Beaker or early Bronze-Age cist burial at base of hill: one ?beaker sherd found on hill in excavation.)

2. Iron Age and Roman

3 Iron-Age occupation attested by a scatter of pottery in both upper and lower enclosures (fourth century BC-first century AD?)

4 Limited occupation in the second-third centuries AD suggested by a few artefacts.

3. Dark-Age

5 Construction of the timber-laced ramparts 1 and 3 in the sixth or seventh century AD; their subsequent destruction by fire.

6 Construction of ramparts 3a-6, perhaps added to 1 and 3, more probably replacing them; perhaps two or more phases.

7 Occupation in the interior attested by finds including two sherds of E-ware, a glass bead, a scrap of imported glass, a pelta-decorated disc, animal bones and iron slag etc may be contemporary with one or other or both of the defensive phases listed under 5 and 6.

8 Construction of rampart 2 on a new line, perhaps after a break in occupation.

9 Final occupation in the upper enclosure, with the collapsed back of rampart 1 cut away. A short phase of fine metalworking activity in the eighth century AD succeeded by construction of a paved hearth apparently within a rectangular building. The relationship of this occupation to rampart 2 is unknown.

(Long cist cemetery on Mare's Craig: may be contemporary with the Dark-Age occupation.)

(c 1025: Viking hoard of silver coins and 'gold chains and bracelets' deposited at Parkhill, Lindores.)

4. Medieval

(Late 12th century: foundation of Lindores Abbey.)

J Close-Brooks 1986.

Fort [NR] (site of) [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1974.

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection,DC23176- DC23183, 1955,1959 & 1960.



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