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East Lomond Hill

Bloomery (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Period Unassigned), Fort (Iron Age)

Site Name East Lomond Hill

Classification Bloomery (Period Unassigned), Cairn (Period Unassigned), Fort (Iron Age)

Canmore ID 29881

Site Number NO20NW 20

NGR NO 2440 0620

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Falkland
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO20NW 20.00 2440 0620

NO20NW 20.01 NO c. 244 062 Chert Core

(NO 2440 0620) Fort (NR)

OS 6" map (1912-38)

A large and important hill fort on the East Lomond, in the construction of which the lines and character of the defences have been blended into the natural configuration of the hill-top. The summit enclosure, which is small for the strength of its defences, is 200ft long, NW-SE, by about 100ft average width.

On the N and NE sides, ramparts and terraces have been constructed despite the steepness of the slope. Even stronger works exist on the S comprising an intricate series of rickle-wall defences, a massive rampart of earth and stone and an outside ditch. The wall defences are broken up and scattered; the ditch and rampart has an entrance gap 49ft wide on the SE side.

Within the fort to the SW (at NO 2437 0617) is the site of a bloomery.

A spindle whorl, two hollow glass beads and a mould for casting small metal ingots were found on the site (NMAS HH 382-5). A stone slab, bearing the incised figure of a bull, was found within the fort in 1920 and is now in the National Museum of Antiquities (see NO20NW 23) (IB 205).


Fort, East Lomond: The remains may represent those of two structural periods, but the actual summit area is so small that they may as well all belong together. The interior measures 200 x 100ft within a ruined wall. Several other ramparts are represented by both long and short stretches on the slopes below this, while to the S, on the only easy line of approach, a final heavy bank and ditch afford a serious obstacle.

Although it appears to be of standard Early Iron Age construction, the fort contained evidence that it was occupied to some extent at a very much later date than this (see finds, RCAHMS and NO20NW 23).

R W Feachem 1963

The fort is generally as described by RCAHMS and Feachem. To the NE are two considerable scarps, almost certainly the remains of ramparts constructed as extra defences. Abutting the outer edge of the heavy bank and ditch on the S, are the unmistakable traces of two enclosures and a possible hut site. Within the fort, on the summit, there are the turf-covered remains of a large cairn c.13.0m in diameter and 1.0m

high. No trace of the bloomery survives.

Re-surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 6 September 1968


Field Visit (19 April 1951)

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.

Publication Account (1987)

The fort on East Lomond Hill occupies the summit as well as a lower terrace on the north. The hilltop is crowned by a large bronze-age cairn about 13m in diameter, now surmounted by a geographical indicator. There are two encircling ramparts, the inner one surviving best on the north-west, but elsewhere the lines are shown by scarps. The lower terrace has also been defended by a rampart, best seen on the north-east in enigmatic line of defence may be seen at the base of the knoll on the south flank where there is a further bank and ditch.

An indication that activity continued into the fIrst millennium AD is provided by the discovery around 1920 of a slab bearing the incised fIgure of a bull in a rather effete Pictish style on the south side of the fort; the stone is now in the RMS, Queen Street, Edinburgh.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

Excavation (August 2014 - September 2014)

NO 2440 0620 A series of geophysical surveys and excavations was undertaken, August – September 2014, on East Lomond Hill as part of a scheme of community heritage training events for the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership. Magnetometer and resistivity surveys were

undertaken across three areas, respectively over the summit, the southern shoulder of the hill and across a terrace on the eastern slope. Ground penetrating radar profiles were also recorded on the summit and largest rampart. Scheduled monument consent was granted by Historic Scotland prior to the surveys commencing. Radar survey across a summit

mound indicated the possible presence of stonework and rubble interior, this may be a cairn or stone building such as a small fort or broch. Survey on the southern shoulder indicated the outlines of several possible curvilinear buildings and enclosures.

Three excavation trenches were opened outside of the scheduled area. These included a slot excavated across a stone-lined bank on the southern shoulder. The largest trench investigated the site of a possible building. This revealed parts of stone walls, post settings, deposits containing charcoal and burnt bone, a possible stone-lined hearth, and a cut feature that contained iron-working debris. A ditch and remains of a collapsed rampart or stone revetment were uncovered on the eastern slope. Finds included a spindle whorl, whetstones, fragments of polished shale, stone tools, part of a quern stone, a stone pot lid, and a sherd of prehistoric pottery. Part of an iron horse harness bit was also found. Radiocarbon dates from charcoal samples indicate that the remains derive from the 1st/7th century AD and are probably part of a southern

annexe to the hillfort.

Archive: FCCT, Falkland Estate, NRHE and Fife Council

Funder: Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland

Oliver O’Grady – OJT Heritage

(Source: DES, Volume 17)


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