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Castlehill Wood

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Castlehill Wood

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 46233

Site Number NS79SE 49

NGR NS 7508 9090

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish St Ninians
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Stirlingshire

Archaeology Notes

NS79SE 49 7508 9090.

NS 7508 9090. A dun, which was excavated in 1955, situated on a small crag of dolerite. Oval in plan, it measures 75' NE-SW by 50' within a drystone wall 16' thick, the faces of which are of large, angular blocks, and the core of boulders, small rubble and earth. The entrance passage, partly paved, is in the E, and is provided with door-checks. Within these, the passage measures 4'6" in width, and outside them, 3'9". Traces of what might have been the bottom step of a stair, rising up the inner face of the wall, were found at a point 8' N of the entrance. The dun had no mural stair or galleries, but two sets of mural chambers of unfamiliar design, incorporating flues, were located, one in the W and the other in the S arc of the wall.

Much of the interior of the dun is now bare rock, but excavation was possible in the shallow humus between this and the wall. No structures were found and no formal hearths, but remains of fires and various small artifacts showed that the occupants had lived in this area, possibly in wattle-and-daub shelters. The finds, though few, included Roman glass and quern-fragments, and suggested that the dun was occupied in the 1st or early 2nd century AD.


Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 24 September 1968

This dun is generally as described by the previous authority. Its defence is aided on the S and W by the cliff edge of the rock outcrop upon which it is built. Elsewhere the wall survives to a maximum height of 1.0m.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 13 November 1975

NS 750 909 This dun measures 22.9m by 1 5.2m within a dry-stone wall 4.9m thick. Excavations in 1955 yielded evidence to suggest that the dun was in use in the 1st or early 2nd century AD.

RCAHMS 1979, visited September 1978

A saddle quern of schist, 490mm by 420mm and 130mm thick, with a depressed smooth upper surface, lies in a sheep fold NW of the dun. A sandstone pot lid, roughly oval in shape and measuring 155mm by 135mm and 25mm thick, with signs of flaking along one edge, was found in the interior of the dun.

N Aitchison 1982

Bun-shaped quern; RMS HH 589.

E J MacKie 1971


Reference (1957)

This site is noted in the ‘List of monuments discovered during the survey of marginal land (1951-5)’ (RCAHMS 1957, xiv-xviii). The 286 monuments were listed by county, parish, classification and name, and the list included an indication of whether they had been planned (P), whether they were visible only as a cropmark (C), and whether they were worthy of preservation (*).

Drawings are catalogued to individual site records. Investigator's notebooks are availiable in the MS collection. Site descriptions are availiable in contemporary RCAHMS inventories, or in three typescript volumes availiable in the library.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 24 October 2012


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