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Castlehill, Candybank

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Castlehill, Candybank

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 48950

Site Number NT04SE 4

NGR NT 0650 4119

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Biggar
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Archaeology Notes

NT04SE 4 0650 4119.

(NT 0650 4119) Fort (NR)

OS 1:10000 map (1981)

Fort, Castle Hill, Candybank: Occupying the summit of Castle Hill (303m OD), 450m SW of Candybank farm, there is a fort measuring 85m by 56m within three earth-and-stone ramparts. The innermost rampart is represented partly by a bank which measures up to 7.3m in thickness and 2.0m in height, and partly by a mere scarp. On the WNW and E sides it has been destroyed by modern quarrying, and it has been broken through by cattle at two points on the SW. Behind it there are traces of a continuous series of quarry scoops, from which material was obtained for the ramparts. For the most part the medial and outer ramparts have been reduced to low scarps, and on the N and NE they have been virtually obliterated by cultivation and by a system of modern field-banks which skirts the fort on this side. The entrance to the fort is on the ESE and runs at a slightly oblique angle through all three ramparts. Within the interior there are at least four house-platforms and one arc of what

was probably a ring-groove house.

RCAHMS 1978, visited 1975; D Christison 1890


Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (DWR) 10 August 1971


Note (27 July 2015 - 19 October 2016)

This fort is situated on the hillock forming the summit of Castle Hill above Candybank, where the ground falls away steeply on the S and W, but shelves more gently around the NE quarter. At first sight, the defences on the S comprise three concentric ramparts enclosing an oval interior measuring 85m from E to W by 56m transversely. The outermost, however, which has been almost ploughed out around the other three-quarters of the circuit, can be seen on aerial photographs taken under snow by RCAHMS in the winter of 1991 swinging much wider round the N side of the fort, where it may also be accompanied by an external ditch. While this outer enclosure might be construed as an annexe to the inner fort, it is as likely to be the remains of an earlier enclosure measuring about 130m from E to W by 120m transversely (1.5ha). Where best preserved the inner rampart forms a stony bank 7.3m in thickness by up to 2m in height externally, but elsewhere both it and the medial rampart, and indeed the rampart of the earlier enclosure, are reduced to scarps. Apart from some relatively recent quarry-pits, extensive evidence of internal quarrying can be seen to the rear of the innermost rampart around the whole circuit, but it is likely that the inner and middle ramparts also have external ditches. The entrance is on the ESE, where a slight stagger in the gaps in the ramparts has created an oblique approach that exposes the visitor's right side. The stances of at least six timber round-houses can be seen within the SE half of the interior, their remains including well-defined levelled platforms and more fugitive traces of grooves. In the best-defined of the platforms, cut back into the rock immediately up from the internal quarry scoop behind the rampart on the S, what is probably the foundation trench for the wall can be seen extending round the floor of the platform.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 19 October 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC3226


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