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Cash Mill

Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Cash Mill

Classification Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Dunshelt Plantation

Canmore ID 30290

Site Number NO21SW 14

NGR NO 2463 1016

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NO21SW 14 2463 1016.

(NO 2463 1016) Fort (NR)

OS 6"map, Fife, (1920)

Fort, Dunshelt Plantation, situated on low-lying ground which was originally marshy but was later drained and planted. Subsequent removal of the trees destroyed the north ern arc. When complete the fort, circular on plan, measured 315ft in diameter from NE - SW and consisted of four well-defined ramparts, averaging about 4 1/2ft in height, with intervening ditches, from 18 to 29ft in width. The outer ditch is flat-bottomed and its appearance suggests that it was originally wet. The entrance is carried over the ditches and narrows from 34ft at the outer rampart to 18ft at the inner. The enceinte lies with its longer axis NW and SE and measures 141 to 120ft. Within, there is a small circular enclosure 45ft in diameter surrounded by a low, widely spread ridge or bank without any break.

RCAHMS 1933.

Situated and low-lying sandy soil, the earthwork is probably a rath, and therefore post-Roman.

Information from Dr K A Steer (RCAHMS)

Earthwork generally as described by the RCAHMS. It is not a fort.

Visited by OS (R D) 31 March 1967.

Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1980.

Information from RCAHMS air photograph catalogue 1980.


Field Visit (11 June 1925)

Fort, Dunshelt Plantation.

This fort at an elevation of 150 feet above sea-level, about 100 yards south-east of Dunshelt Tile Works, and on low-lying ground which was originally marshy but, at a later time, was drained and planted. The trees were subsequently cleared away and, as the result of such operations, the fort, which is circular on plan, has been entirely destroyed on the northern arc. When complete, it measured 315 feet in diameter over all from north-east to south-west. It consists of a main enclosure surrounded by four well-defined ramparts with intervening ditches. The enceinte lies with its longer axis north-west and south-east and measures 141 feet by 120 feet. Within there is a small enclosure of circular form, measuring 45 feet in diameter and surrounded by a low, widely-spread ridge or bank without any break. This last feature is unusual, but occurs in one other instance in the county of Fife (NO31SE 29), and it has been noted at Peace Knowe, West Lothian (NT07SW 7).

The entrance to the fort is carried over the ditches, on unexcavated ground, from the east south-east and narrows gradually from 34 feet wide at the outermost rampart to 18 feet wide at the main enclosure. The two inner ditches are narrow, being simply the hollows between the three inner ramparts, which are concentric and closely set. The outer ditch presents a distinct contrast. It is flat-bottomed and has an average width of over 30 feet, while its appearance suggests that it was originally wet. The ramparts, which vary in breadth at base from 18 feet to 29 feet, have been constructed entirely of earth, and rise to an average height of about 4 ½ feet. The outermost rampart has been broken for a short distance on the east north-east in a search for clay for tile-making.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 11 June 1925.

Field Visit (18 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.

Note (16 June 2015 - 18 August 2016)

Situated to the SW of Dunshalt, in a low-lying area on the S bank of the River Eden, the topographical position of this extraordinary multivallate enclosure holds little defensive merit, other than its ditches may originally have been wet, but it is one of a series of enclosures on the edges of low terraces in the Howe of Fife displaying evidence of multiple ditches. While these others are all cropmarks revealed by aerial photography, this is a chance survivor, shielded from the main impact of improved agriculture by its incorporation into a plantation, though the NW sector of the outer ramparts and ditches was destroyed by 1854 in the workings of a clay pit for the adjacent tileworks (OS 6-inch map Fife 1856, sheet 16). Roughly circular on plan, it measures about 36m in diameter (0.1ha) within three tightly concentric banks with intermediate ditches, which are encircled by a further flat-bottomed ditch some 9m in breadth and flanked externally by a counterscarp bank; the banks stand about 1.2m above the bottoms of the ditches and together they form a belt some 35m deep. A well-defined entrance causeway penetrates the defences on the SE. The only feature visible within the interior is a circular enclosure measuring about 14m in diameter within a low bank.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3127


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