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Date 3 April 2015 - 31 August 2016

Event ID 1044324

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This fort is situated on the Knock of Alves, otherwise better known as a landmark from the York Tower and Fortreath Mausoleum on its summit. The defences probably represent several phases of construction, according to RCAHMS investigators in 1957, breaking down into three components: a smaller inner enclosure on the very summit; an elongated enclosure taking in the crest of the ridge; and two outer ramparts lying lower down the slope. Subsequent OS surveyors struggled to identify some of these elements, nevertheless, the uppermost enclosure is roughly oval on plan and measures about 38m from ENE to WSW by 23m transversely within a rampart reduced to little more than a stony scarp on the WSW and NNW, but can hardly be distinguished along the lip of the summit on the ENE and SSE. Along the N flank the rampart seems to have dismounted from this lip to follow the line taken by the inner rampart of the next enclosure, though in their dilapidated states the relationship between the two is uncertain. This enclosure measures some 125m in internal length from ENE to WSW by 23m in breadth (0.23ha), and though its rampart is for the most part no more than a stony scarp, a run of the outer face can be seen on the SW. At the WSW end there is evidence of an outer rampart, which has probably extended along the NNW and ENE flanks of the hill beneath the later access track that climbs up to the summit on the E, possibly utilising an original entrance into the upper enclosure at this end. Yet further down the slope, the two outer ramparts, which have been levelled by cultivation on the ESE but can be followed from the eastern end along the N flank and round to an old quarry on the W, probably represent yet another phase of enclosure, taking in an oval area measuring 150m from E to W by 55m transversely (0.65ha); no entrance is in evidence. Excavation in advance of a cable trench in 1997 identified a ditch associated with the outer ramparts (Glendinning 1998).

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 31 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2932

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