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Fort (Prehistoric), Vitrified Stone (Prehistoric), Well (Prehistoric)

Site Name Dunmore

Classification Fort (Prehistoric), Vitrified Stone (Prehistoric), Well (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Dun More; Bochastle

Canmore ID 24375

Site Number NN60NW 7

NGR NN 6014 0759

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Callander
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN60NW 7 6014 0759.

(NN 6014 0759) Dunmore (NR), Well (NR)

OS 6" map, (1958)

Dunmore (also known as An Dun (Maclagan 1873) and Dun bo chaistel (New Statistical Account {NSA 1845}) is a fine example of a fort in which a semi-oval fortification defends the accessible side, the other side or base resting on the edge of a precipitous bank. The fortifications comprise four parallel circular banks with large stones embedded in them, and it is probable that they are really stone walls overgrown with turf. They vary in height from 6 - 10ft. The inner area, which contains a filled-in well, is c 180ft N-S by 150ft E-W (Christison 1900).

A whetstone, found in 1964 within the fort area, was presented to Stirling Museum (Thomson 1964).

Loose vitrified material was found lying in the well and in a modern cairn near the well; also in situ in the second rampart from the interior on the west.

NSA 1845; C Maclagan 1873; D Christison 1900; J K Thomson 1964; Information from RCAHMS TS, 1957.

Dunmore, a fort, is generally as planned and described by Christison. A fifth line of defence in the form of a scarp or terrace can be traced at the foot of the ramparts on the west side. The entrance is uncertain but access was probably gained at either end of the ramparts. There is an apparent annexe to the fort at the base of the north side which may be contemporary. It consists of a single bank of earth and stone, 1.7m high externally and 0.7m high internally, with well-defined entrance in the SW corner; the access, if any, from this annexe to the fort is uncertain.

The well is a water-filled hollow about 2.0m in diameter.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

The whetstone is on exhibition in the Smith Institute, Stirling.

Visited by OS (R D) 15 October 1968.

NN 601 075 This fort occupies the summit of a steep hill and is defended on the N, S and W by four or possibly five walls, and on the E by precipitous slopes. At least one of the walls shows signs of vitrifaction and there is what may be a contemporary annexe on the N.

RCAHMS 1979, visited December 1977


Field Visit (10 June 1957)

The plan and description given in the Proceedings (v.34, 62) are correct as far as they go, but make no mention of vitrifaction. I found loose vitrified material lying in the well, and in the modern cairn built near the well: also in situ in the second rampart from the interior on the W side. In the last case the vitrified material was buried in the core of the wall and had been exposed in a sheep-rub.

The enclosure attached to the N end of the fort appears to be contemporary, and the terrace outside and parallel to the fourth rampart may be either a filled ditch or the remains of a levelled fifth rampart. The entrance was probably round the ends of the ramparts on the N. There are no internal features apart from the well which at the present time is simply a circular muddy hollow in the ground.

Visited by RCAHMS (KAS) 10 June 1957.

Note (5 December 2014 - 12 September 2016)

This fort is situated on the summit of a steep-sided hill which falls away abruptly all along its SE flank. Roughly oval on plan, the defences back onto this natural escarpment, to enclose an area measuring about 50m from N to S by 35m transversely (0.14ha). Elsewhere, on the NW and SW quarters, the defences form a belt some 26m deep, comprising up to four close-set ramparts, probably with intervening ditches, which step down the slope hill. As observed by David Christison (1900, 62-3, fig 22), on the NW the third rampart is pinched out between the second and fourth ramparts, a feature that may indicate that they represent more than one phase of construction. Likewise, if his observation of an entrance through the outer rampart on the SW is correct, then it is blocked by the ramparts above it. Blocks of stone embedded in the scarps of the ramparts indicate that they were stone-faced, while pieces of vitrifaction were observed in 1957 by Kenneth Steer, lying loose in the well within the interior and embedded in the core of the second rampart on the W. Apart from the well, the interior is featureless, as is what may be a contemporary annexe that takes in a terrace below the defences on the NNW; bounded by a bank up to 1.7m high externally, the interior of the annexe measures about 34m from NNW to SSE by 30m transversely (0.09ha). In 1964 a whetstone was found within the interior of the fort (Thomson 1964).

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 12 September 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2612


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