Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

In recognition of the essential restrictions and measures imposed by the Scottish and UK Governments, we have closed all sites, depots and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, with immediate effect. Read our latest statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Field Visit

Date 29 October 1996

Event ID 1038999

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


The defences of the fort on the Hill of Dunnideer surround the stump of a medieval tower that dominates the landscape of the Garioch for miles around. The defences comprise two main elements: the first represented by as many as four walls or ramparts enclosing the summit of the hill and centred on a vitrified wall; the second by two outer ramparts enclosing much larger areas and encircling the lower flanks of the hill.

The vitrified wall encloses an oval-shaped area that measures about 68m from WNW to ESE by 23m transversely and has been extensively robbed to build the tower which may have had an adjoining enclosure to the ESE and is now represented by a low band of rubble cutting across the interior. The vitrified wall lies within the grass-grown remains of an earlier oval enclosure defined by a wall reduced to a scarp and measuring about 100m in length by 45m in breadth. Beyond this, and most visible at the WNW end, are the scarps of another two lines of defence, the inner of which contours around the N side of the hill where it is overlain by a row of three house platforms on the E.

The outer defences are both low grass grown ramparts created by material quarried internally, the inner enclosing an area measuring about 210m from WNW to ESE by 120m transversely and the outer measuring about 300m by 175m. The inner is the better preserved and has entrances on the ESE and WNW, the latter where the rampart expands in size and the ditches terminate to form a causeway. The outer enclosure also has an entrance on the WNW but is defined as little more than a terrace for much of its circuit and has been ploughed out by rig and furrow cultivation on the ESE.

There are traces of at least a further seven house platforms within and below the defences, two of which on the W have been set into the lowermost rampart.

Visited by RCAHMS (ARG, IP) 29 October 1996.

People and Organisations