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Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Tillymuick

Classification Settlement (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 18212

Site Number NJ62SW 3

NGR NJ 6495 2450

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NJ62SW 3 6495 2450

(NJ 649 245) Earthwork (NAT)

Cairns (NR) (Twice)

OS 6" map, (1959)

A settlement (information from R W Feachem, September 1957), consisting of stone rampart 5' to 6' broad at base and 2' high in places, enclosing an area about 200yds in diameter (ONB 1867) in which are numerous hut circles. The entrance is on the west, gaps on the SW and NE probably being comparatively modern (Yeats 1883). (ONB makes no specific mention of the 'Tumuli' {OS 6" map, 1867} within the enclosure. These may be the hut-circles).

Name Book 1867; Yeats 1883.

A settlement comprised of an ill-defined, overgrown earth and stone bank (0.6m maximum height and spread to 4.5m maximum width) enclosing a sub-circular area (200.0m NE- SW by 170.0m NW-SE) containing traces of eight probable hut circles. In the WNW is a distinct 'bend' in the bank resembling an offset entrance but there is no apparent break in the debris, and the purpose of this change of alignment is uncertain.

In the SSW a break of c.10.0m in the bank may be the main entrance. Another break of 3.0m in the N where an old track cuts though is presumably later. Yet another break some 30.0m E of this track may be due to erosion.

Inside the enclosure is a curving bank (about 18.0m long, 4.0m wide and 0.5m high) about 40.0m to the E of the entrance; this appears to be contemporary with the settlement but its purpose is obscure.

The best-preserved hut circle "A" (shown on OS 25" map, 1901) shows traces of walling in a slight bank around its circumference, but the others are only visible as ill-defined platforms, six being 7.5m in diameter, and the two most south easterly ones being 6.5m and 9.0m in diameter. The interior of the enclosure is scarred by small surface quarries, particularly in the NE, and several other hollows are uncertainly quarries or mutilated hut platforms.

One of the 'tumuli' shown on OS 25" map is hut 'A', the other three are irregular stony mounds, c.2.5m in diameter, of uncertain character. There is no trace of contemporary cultivation.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (ISS) 26 July 1973.

No change to previous field report.

Surveyed at 1:10 000.

Visited by OS (JM) 18 August 1977.

(Location cited as NJ 6490 2450; classified as Fort and Site of Regional Significance). Hill fort; the largest enclosed site (c. 200 by 170m) in NE Scotland. Now surrounded by a forestry plantation.

The low rounded summit (at altitude 250m OD) is enveloped by a stone bank (spread to approx. 4m width and 0.5m height) fringed on inner edge by quarry-scoops. It is difficult to trace the entire circuit but a gap is apparent on the W and may be the original entrance. 8 huts (c. 7-8m in diameter) as well as platforms or quarry-scoops in the interior.

[CUCAP air photography listed].

NMRS, MS/712/35.

On the date of visit this settlement was choked with rank gorse, broom and heather. None of the internal features, which include several hut-circles, could be identified, nor was it possible to establish the exact character and dimensions of the enclosing bank or wall.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 6 November 1996.


Field Visit (17 July 1943)

This site was recorded as part of the RCAHMS Emergency Survey, undertaken by Angus Graham and Vere Gordon Childe during World War 2. The project archive has been catalogued during 2013-2014 and the material, which includes notebooks, manuscripts, typescripts, plans and photographs, is now available online.

Information from RCAHMS (GF Geddes) 4 December 2014.

Field Visit (20 May 1957)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project. Site descriptions, organised by county, are available to view online - see the searchable PDF in 'Digital Items'. These vary from short notes, to lengthy and full descriptions. Contemporary plane-table surveys and inked drawings, where available, can be viewed online in most cases - see 'Digital Images'. The original typecripts, notebooks and drawings can also be viewed in the RCAHMS search room.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 19 July 2013.

Field Visit (April 2015)

NJ 6498 2448 The status of this hilltop settlement has been questioned over recent years. In 1957 the OS reported over 50 hut circles on the hill and the site was accordingly scheduled. More recent visits from RCAHMS and Historic Scotland have suggested that no more than eight are visible but also note that the interior is ‘choked with rank gorse, broom and heather’. The survey in April 2015 entailed the clearance of a limited area of undergrowth from an area shown on the 1957 survey to have contained various archaeological features. This was followed by a plane table survey recording all visible features in that area. The results, after taking account of the large drift of magnetic N since 1957, suggests that, within this limited area, the OS’s recorded features are still largely visible. Moreover, rather than simply the hut circles recorded by the OS, it might be suggested that further linear features also survive. However, the surviving, above ground evidence for most of these features is very slight and further work would be required to confirm these findings.

Archive: Moray and Aberdeenshire Council SMR

Colin Shepherd – Bennachie Landscapes Fieldwork Group

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Note (20 April 2015 - 31 August 2016)

This large enclosure is situated in a clearing on the gently rounded summit of a low hill enclosed within the forestry plantations along the N flank of the Bennachie hills. Where its perimeter can be traced through the rank heather and dense thickets of gorse and whins, it appears as a low stony bank spread 4.5m in thickness and no more than 0.5m in height, which has been constructed with material grubbed up from a shallow internal quarry about 5m in breadth to enclose an oval area measuring about 195m from ENE to WSW by 165m transversely (2.7). A gap in the bank on the N is approached by a hollowed trackway, but when most recently surveyed by RCAHMS, the investigators could detect little trace of the 56 hut-circles identified on a plan drawn up in 1957 during the RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 31 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2963


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