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Field Visit

Date 17 March 1932

Event ID 1099549

Category Recording

Type Field Visit

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/event/1099549

Enclosure and Ditch, Castle Craig.

The Castle Craig, a rocky bluff of the Ochil Hills, rises abruptly to an elevation of 500 feet above sea-level on the right bank of a burn at the foot of the Mill Glen near Tillicoultry. On all sides, except at the north-west, it provides a situation of great natural strength. The Statistical Account (1795), vol. xv, p. 214, states: "On the Castle Craig, the foundations of a round circular building are still visible." A note to the passage reads: "Between these and the hills, there has been a ditch by way of defence. The vulgar tradition is, that the Peychts had a strong fortification in this place."

Unfortunately the constructions have been much destroyed and their precise character cannot now be settled. Local information is to the effect that some parts of a detached building, which formerly stood at the south-eastern edge of the cliff overlooking the burn, have been removed in recent years by quarrying operations. This information offers a possible explanation of the denuded remains that survive at a somewhat higher level. These consist of the lower courses of a strongly built semi-circular wall, which nowhere reaches a height of more than 4 feet above inside level and is flush with the natural ground-level on the outside. The wall is 12 feet thick at the central segment but becomes thinner towards the extremities. These at some later time have been linked together by a modern dike to form a D-shaped enclosure, which has its major axis north-north-east and south-south-west and measures roughly 95 feet by 65 feet. Within are traces of dividing walls and other later constructions. About 20 feet to the north-west of this strong wall is the ditch referred to in the Statistical Account. It is well defined, and in places has a depth and width of over 10 feet. Part of it has been cut through rock. The ditch is closely overlooked by higher ground, except towards the north, where a short stretch has its outer margin defined by an artificially constructed bank. No clear indications of an entrance passage could be observed, but the line of approach was probably from the west.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 17 March 1932.

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