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Date 17 March 2015 - 31 August 2016

Event ID 1044307

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This fort is situated on the summit of rocky hill commanding wide views over the valley of the River Nairn. Its defences are evidently complex, comprising two main elements: an inner enclosure on the summit; and an outer enclosure set further down the slope. The inner enclosure, however, represents two phases of construction, the earlier of which, now reduced to no more than a stony scarp, probably extended around the lip of the whole of the summit, though it is only visible where it emerges from beneath the later on the NE and SW; it encloses an oval area measuring about 85m from NE to SW by 23m transversely (0.15ha). In the later phase a new circuit was erected on the summit, enclosing an area of much the same breadth but no more than 56m in length (0.1ha) within a wall reduced to a grass-grown bank about 10m in thickness and standing about 1.2m high externally; a hollow in the SW end of the interior may mark the position of a well, and the entrance is on the E, giving access to a path that doglegs down the slope and out along a terrace past the outer terminal of the outermost rampart on the NE. Comparatively massive, Angus Graham and Gordon Childe believed that some reddened fragments of stone they observed in the core of this inner wall in 1943 were comparable to heated stones they had seen on other vitrified forts elsewhere, but no other evidence of the vitrifaction claimed by John Williams in 1777 has been noted since. The main outer defence contours round the flanks of the hill to enclose an area measuring about 140m from NE to SW by 50m transversely (0.55ha). For the most part its rampart is reduced to a stony scarp, probably broken by an entrance on the SW, but from the N round to the NE it gradually increases in size to its terminal adjacent to the entrance track on the NE, and in places on the N the line of the outer face survives three courses high. At this entrance the wall appears to turn back towards the summit, flanking the entrance track as far as what appears to be the line of yet another intermediate defensive wall running round the slope on this side and lying concentrically to the earliest summit enclosure. The configuration of these heavily ruined defences, and another wall that drops down the slope between them, is not fully understood in the dense undergrowth that clothes the site, and rather than an elaboration of the entrance passage, which would be an unusual feature, it may be the remains of an independent rectangular enclosure overlying these two lines of defence. Apart from the inferred sequence between the two summit enclosures, their relationships to the other defences is unknown.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 31 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2907

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