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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Castle Hill

Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Medieval)

Site Name Castle Hill

Classification Castle (Medieval), Earthwork (Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Mains Of Cargill; Cargill Castle

Canmore ID 28488

Site Number NO13NE 22

NGR NO 1579 3743

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Cargill
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NO13NE 22 1579 3743.

(NO 1579 3743) Castle Hill (NAT) Motte (NR)

OS 1:10000 map (1977)

Castle Hill was considered by the old writers to be a Roman fort, but both Crawford and Richmond agree that it is a large motte with an aqueduct to fill the moat with water. The NSA describes it as being guarded on all sides where it was accessible with a 'high breastwork and strong entrenchments' with ditches 'perfectly discernible'.

O G S Crawford 1949; I A Richmond 1940; NSA 1845


Field Visit (20 February 1969)

A well-preserved motte backing onto the River Tay. The massive rampart which enclosed the top is now spread but still has a maximum internal height of 2.0m. The ditch has been almost completely destroyed by ploughing. No internal features were noted nor was there any trace visible of the aqueduct. Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 20 February 1969.

Publication Account (1973)

Cargill formed half a knight's fee for Richard de Montfiquet before 1196. After he had been granted Cargill, but before 1199, he created a sub-fief for William, son of Alexander, which included a toft and croft 'between the castle (castellum) and the church of Cargill'.

G W S Barrow 1973; 1971

Field Visit (May 1989)

This earthwork castle is situated on the left bank of the River Tay, 300m below its confluence with the River Isla. D-shaped on plan, it measures 50m from NW to SE by 37m internally, and is protected on the NW by steep slopes falling to the river, and elsewhere by a ditch and internal bank. The visible remains of the ditch, however, have largely been removed by ploughing, but, on the SW, it measures 8m in width

and 3m in depth; additional protection on this side is afforded by a stream gully, the NE side of which has been artificially scarped. The bank is best preserved on the SE, where it measures 10m in thickness and up to 2m in height above the interior, but on the WSW it is barely perceptible. The entrance was probably on the NNE where the bank terminates 10m from the river-cliff. A terrace downslope from the W corner of the earthwork appears to be of natural origin.

Cargill was granted to Richard de Montfiquet by William I between 1189 and 1195, and the castle comes on record between 1195 and 1199.

Visited by RCAHMS (PC) May 1989.

OSA 1794; Reg Reg Scot.

Measured Survey (1989)

RCAHMS surveyed Castle Hill earthwork (NO13NE 22) with plane-table and self-reducing alidade in 1989 at a scale of 1:500. The resultant plan was redrawn in ink and published at a scale of 1:1000 (RCAHMS 1994b, 104(B)).


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