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Date 20 December 2013 - 3 April 2017

Event ID 1045523

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This fort occupies the summit of an irregular rocky hillock on the eastern shores of the Rough Firth. Shaped like a boot, with its toe pointing to the north, the irregular interior measures about 67m from NW to SE by a maximum of 32m transversely. The rampart can be traced round the margin of the summit, though it has largely collapsed into massive screes of rubble that can be detected on NE, S and W flanks of the hillock. Where excavated on the NE and S (see Laing & Longley 2006, 7-13), the rampart measures about 3.7m in thickness, and on the NE the scree of rubble on the slope below was over 1m deep; while most of this material denotes the massive scale of the rampart on the summit, it is also possible that it masks an outer rampart, particularly on the NE and W where other breaks of slope may indicate a second line of defence. No trace of an entrance can be seen and none was located in the excavations conducted here in 1913 (Curle 1914), 1973 and 1979 (Laing & Longley 2006). The excavations provided evidence of occupation in the form of hearths, bone and numerous artefacts (Laing & Longley 2006, 14-24) and there was also extensive evidence of metalworking, including iron, copper-alloy, gold and silver (Laing and Longley 2006, 25-74); a possible post built rectangular building was located but little evidence of floors or other structures. Finds include Mediterranean glass and pottery imports dating from the 6th and 7th centuries AD, and various moulds and manufactured artefacts of the same period. There are also five radiocarbon dates from rampart timbers with calibrated ranges spanning from the late 4th century to the early 7th century, but a sherd of E ware probably of early 6th century date and a fragment of 6th/7th century glass from pre-rampart contexts indicate that the defences were constructed in the latter part of this span, probably towards the end of the 6th century (Laing & Longley 2006, 24).

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 03 April 2017. Atlas of Hillforts SC0312

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