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'Maiden Castle', Bracks, Lomond Hills

Fort (Iron Age)

Site Name 'Maiden Castle', Bracks, Lomond Hills

Classification Fort (Iron Age)

Alternative Name(s) Bracks Plantation

Canmore ID 29936

Site Number NO20NW 7

NGR NO 2220 0688

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 7 2220 0688.

(NO 2220 0688) Maiden Castle (Fort) (NR)

OS 6" map (1920)

'Maiden Castle occupies an oval hill along the northern brow of the hill; there are traces of huts having been excavated.'

Miller 1857

The grassy hillock known as 'Maiden Castle' rises steeply from amidst the rougher ground between two low spurs of the Lomond Hills. The knoll is elliptical in outline with its major axis almost due E and W.

The flattened summit measures roughly 461' long by 114' maximum width. A single earthen rampart and inner ditch run along the N and S sides and there is some terracing about midway up the steeply sloping scarps at the WSW and ENE.

A 16' wide approach leads up to a W entrance, while at the E end a natural ridge leads into a 20' gap in the rampart and ditch.


This earthwork is generally as described by RCAHMS. The main feature is its basal ditch which is well preserved around the N,S and E sides, and there is a well-defined entrance at the W end. At the E end, however, where access is comparatively easy, the ditch and entrance has the appearance of being unfinished. The terracing around the N and S sides probably represents an incomplete ditch, whilst around the summit are the slight remains of a marker trench. These remains are more pronounced where they adjoin the entrances at both ends. No certain traces of huts can be seen within the interior.

Though most of the surviving remains are strong and impressive, the site as a whole has the appearance of being an unfinished fort.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (ECW) 16 May 1972.


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This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project.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)

Maiden Castle is an isolated knoll which would in prehistoric times have been largely surrounded by marsh; the best-preserved part of the site is a rampart and ditch around the base of the hillock, but there are indications that there would originally have been other lines of defence higher up the flanks, though these are now indicated merely by scarps. The main entrance is at the east end, where there would have been an impressive gateway.

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


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