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Date 12 October 2015 - 18 May 2016

Event ID 1044912

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This fort is situated beneath the ruin of Tinnis Castle, which crowns a ridge carved out by a glacial meltwater channel at the foot of the W flank of Vane Law. The castle itself, which dates from the 15th or early 16th century (See RCAHMS 1967, 272-3, no.531), comprises a quadrangular courtyard with towers at the NE and SW corners, and the working assumption has been that all the defensive ramparts lying outside the castle walls belong to a fort rather than an earlier castle on the same site. Be that as it may, the summit area of the ridge, measuring some 60m from NE to SW by 26m transversely (0.15ha), has been enclosed by a single rampart, and the discovery of in situ vitrified stone by RCAHMS investigators in 1959 at the SW end, and loose amongst fallen rubble on the W flank. indicates that it was probably timber-laced. At both ends two further walls have been drawn across the crest of the ridge, the outer on the SW with an internal ditch, while the lower end of the ridge at the SW end is apparently enclosed on the W by a ditch with an external bank, and on the E by a rampart reduced to a scarp. Quite how these various elements functioned as a defensive scheme, and the extent to which they may have been built or modified in the medieval period is uncertain. There is an entrance in the SW end, but the outer of the two walls here has apparently been reconstructed to block access through it, while the entrance visible at the NE end seems to have been the principal approach to the castle, zigzagging up through the ramparts from a well-formed trackway and may be entirely medieval in date.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3621

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