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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


Wester Pitlour

Cultivation Terrace(S) (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Wester Pitlour

Classification Cultivation Terrace(S) (Period Unassigned), Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 30344

Site Number NO21SW 6

NGR NO 2038 1163

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 Fife
  • Parish Strathmiglo
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO21SW 6 2038 1163.

(NO 2038 1163) Fort (NR), (Name: NO 2039 1155) Terraces (NR) (Site of) OS 6"map, (1938)

A fort, known locally as the Roman Camp, is situated 600 yards NW of Wester Pitlour. Its outline is difficult to trace owing to undergrowth, but is it some-what pear-shaped. The position is a commanding one, protected on three sides by a deep gully and only accessible from the NE.

RCAHMS 1933.

There were artificial terraces SW of the fort until c. 1803. These were ploughed out and burnt bones and ashes, covered with stones, were found. A ring of fine silver with a round knob on it resembling a diamond with a cross beside it and an inscription was also found (A Small 1823). In 1828, the road up to the fort, laid with stone, was discovered. The entrance was on the E side cut through the rock and the pavement inside was entire (Lieut-Col. Miller 1857).

A small piece of bronze, apparently the river of some weapon found beneath the road, together with many human bones, at a depth of 4', were donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS) in 1829 (Archaeol Scot 1831)

A Small 1823; Archaeol Scot 1831; Lieut-Col. Miller 1857.

The site of the fort is sub-oval in shape and measures about 100.0m by 70.0m. It occupies a naturally strong position. There is no trace of a rampart, terraces, or the alleged paved road, but the site is thickly overgrown and has been reafforested.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (J T T) 2 August 1965.

(NO 2038 1163) Fort (NR) (site of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1974)

An upper quern stone, found in 1825, along with an iron sword, when digging on the summit of Camp Hill, near Pitlour, is in the NMAS. (Acc No: BB 28)

D Wilson 1863.

No change.

Visited by OS (J P) 22 June 1974.


Field Visit (11 June 1925)

Fort, near Wester Pitlour.

The farm of Wester Pitlour is situated at an elevation of 350 feet above sea-level, and for a distance of about 600 yards to the north-west of it the ground rises steadily to the rocky crest of a wooded area at the 600 feet contour. Here may be traced, though with difficulty, the outline of a somewhat pear-shaped fort known locally as "The Roman Camp." Owing to a dense growth of nettles and brushwood it is quite impossible to secure measurements or to give a detailed description. The situation is a commanding one, being protected on three sides by a deep gully and accessible only from the north-east. On the south-west side of the hill there were formerly a considerable number of artificially constructed terraces, but these were destroyed over a century ago. Cf. Small's Interesting Roman Antiquities in Fife, pp. 59, 187.

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 May 2016)

Little trace of this fort remain on the top of Camp Hill, a local summit forming the SW end of a longer ridge of high ground. Depictions on OS maps indicate that it is roughly oval on plan, measuring about 90m from NW to SE by 70m transversely (0.49ha) within a single rampart. It has been obscured to successive visitors since the 19th century by a dense plantation, though most of the site is currently free of trees and under grass. Clearance operations prior to planting in 1828 uncovered a 'road...leading up to it..., laid with stones, and the entrance on the east side cut through the rock, and the pavement inside of that quite entire' (Miller 1857, 38). According to Daniel Wilson. in 1825 a rotary quern and an iron sword (NMAS BB28) were found when digging on the summit of the hill (1863).

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3126


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