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Publication Account

Date 1995

Event ID 1016748

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The fort occupies the summit of a prominent wooded hill. It has two more or less concentric ramparts enclosing a grass-grown subrectangular area some 80m long. The fort and its ramparts are clear of trees, and there are glimpses of the originally extensive views over Inverness and the Beauly Firth.

Excavation in 1971 showed that both ramparts had been constructed of timberlaced stonework and subsequently burnt, and contained large masses of vitrified material. The inner rampart is particularly massive, and good examples of vi trification can be seen under the roots of a pine tree at the north end. There is a steep slope down to the outer rampart which is a slighter affair. No original entrances can be identified. Radiocarbon dates from the ramparts suggest they were built in the 5th or 4th centuries BC.

A small excavation in the interior produced unexpected evidence for recoccupation of the fort in the 6th or 7th centuries AD. The finds included a few small scraps of imported pottery, and a clay mould for casting a metal fitting for a hangingbowl (in NMS, replica in Inverness Museum).There is some suggestion that the ramparts were refurbished at this time. An historical king of the Picts, Brideison of Maelchon who ruled around AD 555 to 584, had a royal house near the river Ness where he was visited by St Columba. The description would fit Craig Phadrig well, though other sites such as Inverness Castle Hill are also possible.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).

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