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Note

Date 9 March 2015 - 31 August 2016

Event ID 1044287

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1044287

This fort occupies the summit of the ENE end of a long ridge overlooking Strathpeffer from the SE. Lozenge-shaped on plan, it measures about 118m from NE to SW by 30m transversely (0.33ha) within a heavily vitrified wall with massive exposures of vitrifaction all around its circuit. At either end wing walls extend along the crest of the ridge for a distance of at least 50m, in effect doubling the length of the fort in terms of its visual impact from the valley below. No entrance is visible but two wells are visible within the SW end of the interior, and there are traces of a rectangular building adjacent to one of them. Though it is not shown on the most recent survey (Headland 2013, fig 3b), Alan Ayre of the OS also identified traces of what he thought might be an earlier rampart or wall extending along a break of slope on the E flank of the fort and hooking round beneath the end of the wing wall at the SW end; in one place he identified its outer face over a distance of some 27m. In contrast to the inner wall, there was no trace of vitrifaction in this line of defence, and nor is there in a short segment of rampart set astride the spine of the ridge outside it at the SW end. In addition to the remains of the fort itself, evidence of at least two excavation trenches dug by John Williams about 1777 can be seen, one cut across the fort from side to side a little NE of its centre, and the other driven into the SW wing wall from the SE. A third similar feature cuts across the NE wing wall, but if this is an excavation rather than a more ancient boundary work of some kind spanning a relatively narrow part of the ridge top, it seems to date from before Williams' time (1777, 30). Williams measured the heights of the walls in his trenches, which were cut down to bedrock, observing that even in its ruined state the wall on the N side was some 3.5m in height, while the wing wall on the SW was 7m in height. He also dug into both wells, which filled up with water overnight.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 31 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2888

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