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Catter Law

Motte (Medieval)

Site Name Catter Law

Classification Motte (Medieval)

Canmore ID 43426

Site Number NS48NE 3

NGR NS 47232 87125

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Kilmaronock (Stirling)
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Dunbartonshire

Archaeology Notes

NS48NE 3 4724 8712.

(NS 4724 8712) Catter Law (NR)

OS 6" map, Dunbartonshire, 2nd ed., (1922)

Catter Moot Hill. 'A large artificial mound of earth where justice was administered in former times and whereon stood in Earl's gallows.'

G Chalmers 1890; J Irving 1879.

The mound known as Catter Law which stands within the grounds of Catter House, 300 yards S of Drymen Bridge, is a motte. Fashioned out of a natural hillock, it ranges in height from 9 feet on the S to 26 feet on the N, and the level top measures 120 feet from E to W by 100 feet transversely. The top is planted with trees and shrubs and exhibits no structural remains apart from a large modern pit situated in the NE quadrant. Some slight traces of a ditch up to 30 feet in width can be seen round the base of the mound on all sides except trhe E where its place is taken by a natural gully, now used as a rubbish dump.

Visited by RCAHMS, 19 May 1955

Catter Law is a steep-sided, flat-topped sub-circular mound, measuring c.40.0m in diameter, 3.0m high on the south and c.5.0m on the north, built upon the hill slope above the Endrick Water. On the east are the remains of a ditch, c.12.0m long by 6.0m wide and c.2.0m deep, which has largely been filled with compost.

The mound is grass and tree covered, and an earthen construction is exposed where turf has been removed. It has every appearance of being a motte; there are no traces of a bailey.

Visited by OS (D S) 1 October 1956.

Motte, Catter-Law. Worthy of preservation.

RCAHMS 1957.

Catter Law is as described by the previous OS field investigator, but no trace of an earthen construction could be seen. The eastern periphery had been mutilated, where a garden refuse tip had been constructed. On the top of the mound,at the very edge of the slopes and located at NS 4722 8711, there is a stone 0.8m x 0.7m x 0.4m high (obviously not in situ) in the centre of which is a deep cupmark measuring 0.3m in diameter by 0.15m deep.

Revised at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (R B) 30 March 1965.


Field Visit (19 May 1955)

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.

Field Visit (December 1977)

Catter Law NS 472 871 NS48NE 3

At a height of 16m OD overlooking the Endrick Water is a roughly oval motte which has been fashioned from a natural knoll. The motte stands 12m high on the N and 3.5m high on the S and its level top measures 30 m by 35m.

RCAHMS 1978, visited December 1977

(Plan in the NMRS; Stell 1972, 182, no. 14)


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