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Law Mount, High Castleton

Motte And Bailey (Medieval)(Possible), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Law Mount, High Castleton

Classification Motte And Bailey (Medieval)(Possible), Mound (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 42939

Site Number NS44SW 1

NGR NS 4112 4477

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Ayrshire
  • Parish Stewarton
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kilmarnock And Loudoun
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS44SW 1 4112 4477.

(NS 4112 4477) Law Mount (NAT) Motte & Bailey (NR)

OS 6" map (1968)

Law Mount is a motte and bailey.

Information from K A Steer, RCAHMS, letter, 16 April 1954.

Law Mount is a circular, grass-covered mound of earth and stones situated in a commanding position on the summit of a low ridge. It has a maximum height of 3.5m, its nearly flat top is 12.6m in diameter, and the over all diameter is approximately 18.6m. On its E side are slight, unsurveyable traces of a ditch.

A terrace, 70.0m W of the mound, runs across the end slope of the ridge and is possibly a silted-up ditch, which may have enclosed part of the W side of a bailey.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JFC) 3 August 1956 and (JLD) 14 February 1962

On surviving ground evidence, the acceptance of this site as a motte and bailey is suspect. The existence of a bailey is entirely suggested by the shape and level surface area of the natural ridge to the W of the mound, Law Mount. Towards, and across, its western limit the ridge appears to have been slightly cut-back to form a defence, but the contours show this may be entirely fortuitous and there is certainly no indication of a ditch around this side.

The mound is generally as described, and seems to be an entirely artificial, earthen construction. The ditch around its E side is perhaps conjectural; the slight depression may be the result of scraping for the mound material. To the E of the mound the ridge gradually fades and no limit to the supposed bailey can be determined.

Discounting the bailey aspect, this mound has similarities with Knockrivoch Mount (NS24NE 13) and Hutt Knowe (NS34SE 2), both of which may be tumuli.

Revised at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (JRL) 7 August 1982


Field Visit (26 May 1953)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project.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

Reference (1957)

This site is noted in the ‘List of monuments discovered during the survey of marginal land (1951-5)’ (RCAHMS 1957, xiv-xviii).

Information from RCAHMS (GFG), 24 October 2012.


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