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Battle Of Tillyangus

Battle Site (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Battle Of Tillyangus

Classification Battle Site (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) White Hill Of Tillyangus; Smallburn; Battle Of Tillieangus

Canmore ID 17720

Site Number NJ52SW 6

NGR NJ 524 245

NGR Description NJ c. 524 245 or NJ c. 528 243

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Clatt
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ52SW 6 c. 524 245 or c. 528 243

For other sites traditionally linked with this battle, see:

NJ52SW 1 NJ 5283 2441 Whitehill Enclosure; quarries

NJ52SW 4 NJ 518 247 Smallburn Cairns; human remains

NJ52SW 5 NJ 5192 2434 Jock's Cairn, Smallburn Cairns; quarry

NJ52SW 8 NJ 522 247 Black Arthur's Well, Smallburn

(NJ 5246 2452) Site of Engagement between the Clans Forbes and Gordon AD 1572.

OS 6" map, (1959)

The battle of Tillyangus was fought on 10th October, 1571 during the civil war between the adherents of Queen Mary and her son, King James VI. The catholic Gordons, under Sir Adam Gordon, probably following Mar's Road to gain the Suie Road to Edinburgh, to join the Earl of Huntly, were opposed by the protestant Forbeses under "Black Arthur" Forbes, who, according to a contemporary account, had "... entrenched themselves within their campt, which they had stronglie fortified ...". (see NJ52SW 1). A late authority states that the battle took place on the White Hill of Tillyangus, which is given the secondary name of "Gordons' Camp Muir" on a Knockespock estate plan of 1841. The Gordons were victorious.

W D Simpson 1949.

Tradition of battle still known. No further information locally.

Visited by OS (RL) 12 September 1967.

No features are extant in the landscape to testify to the occurrence of this skirmish, although the country people came to ascribe a role in the story to several natural and anthropogenic features in the immediate neighbourhood (see NJ52SW 1, NJ52SW 4, NJ52SW 5 and 8).

Visited by RCAHMS (ATW; PC), 9 September 1998.

A and H Tayler 1937.


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