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Mote Hill

Motte (Medieval)

Site Name Mote Hill

Classification Motte (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) The Cumins' Craig; Comyn's Craig; Den Of Craig; Auchindoir; Moathillock; Craig Estate

Canmore ID 17246

Site Number NJ42SE 4

NGR NJ 4779 2449

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Auchindoir And Kearn
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ42SE 4 4779 2449.

(NJ 4779 2449) Mote Hill (NR)

(Siting symbol published within hachures)

OS 6" map, Aberdeenshire, 2nd ed., (1902)

Mote hill, (called Moathillock in 1777) a castle-mound suggested to be the site of a wooden castle, no walling or masonry being known. It is oval, 90 feet by 72 feet, and is defended on three sides by natural slopes and on the north by a ditch. It is about 25 feet high. There are quarry-mutilations on the south. A controversy as to whether the castle is mentioned by Medieval and later writers is resolved in the Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB, 1866) by attributing the references to Craig Castle (information contained in a letter from J Stewart, Secretary, Soc Antiq Scot to OS, 20 August 1866). Jervise (1871) states that the hill was known as 'The Cumins' Craig'.

Name Book 1866; A Jervise 1871; W D Simpson 1930.

'Mote Hill', a motte measures c.32.0 metres NW to SE by c.17.0 metres transeversely, and is c.4.0 metres high. Heavily overgrown.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RL) 3 October 1967.

This motte is heavily overgrown with substantial beech trees. There is a quarry in the NW quadrant and a bulldozed track cuts the N side.

NMRS, MS/712/48, visited 31 March 1993.

Information received from Aberdeenshire Archaeology Service notes documentary evidence [unspecified] for the former existence of a motte at Craig Den [Den of Craig: location cited as NJ 475 245]. This was initially recorded as NJ42SE 44, but clearly refers to the 'motte' at Auchindoir Kirkyard.

NMRS, MS/712/48.

The Mote Hill, Auchindoir is situated in woodland on the edge of the Den of Craig, about 70m SE of the 13th century church of Auchindoir (NJ42SE 1). It is oval on plan and measures 34m from WNW to ESE by 22m transversely and rises to about 5m in height. A ditch around its N side has been accentuated by an access track to a quarry cut into its S face.

Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 16 May 2001.


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