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Date 8 September 2014 - 9 August 2016

Event ID 1044849

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This small fortification occupied a low spur projecting from the SE flank of the hill on the W side of the mouth of the glen above Tillicoultry. Unfortunately it has been completely removed by Tillicoultry Quarry, but a plan drawn up by RCAHMS in 1952 shows that its defences comprised two elements: an inner stone walled enclosure; and an outer rampart with an external rock-cut ditch, which were drawn across the neck of the spur to isolate it from the rest of the hill. The inner enclosure was circular on plan, measuring 25m in diameter (0.05ha) within a wall 3.6m in thickness, and a gap in the wall on the SW possibly marked the position of the entrance. The inner face of the wall, still standing up to four courses high, was visible around the western half of the circuit, and a short section of the outer face on the NW. A watching brief was maintained during the demolition and a mechanical shovel was used to uncover a length of the outer face around the E side, revealing that it was built of massive blocks with small pinnings, which were also used to keep the lowest course roughly horizontal (Cruden 1964, 57). While the outer defences across the neck of the spur may have been no more than an outwork protecting the easiest line of approach to the inner enclosure, they might equally represent the remain of an earlier fort in its own right, effectively blocking access to a steep-sided promontory. The rampart had been reduced to a stony bank about 2m in thickness, but the ditch was an impressive feature up to 3.6m in depth, in places with vertical rock-cut sides at the bottom between 0.7m and 1.5m high; there were also remains of an external bank of upcast on the flanks of the spur. The area cut off measured 85m from NE to SW, by at least 85m transversely (0.5ha) at the time that the plan was drawn up, but by then the SE tip of the spur had already been removed. There may have been an entrance between the western end of these defences and the SW margin of the spur. Sherds of what is possibly coarse Roman pottery from 'Tillicoultry Craig' in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (Robertson 1970, 225) possibly come from here, the only other 'Craig' placename nearby being Wester and Easter Kirk Craigs high up above the village on the opposite side of the glen

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 09 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC1858

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