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High Auchneel

Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name High Auchneel

Classification Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 60376

Site Number NW96NE 8

NGR NW 9609 6537

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Leswalt
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Wigtown
  • Former County Wigtownshire

Archaeology Notes

NW96NE 8 9609 6537.

(Name : NW 959 650) Earthwork (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

A small promontory fort (R W Feachem 1956) formed by a single trench, some 18' broad and 5' deep, across the neck of a promontory some 30' in width. The area of the promontory within this defence is fairly level, some 80'in length by 50' in breadth, with a rapid fall beyond to a point of jagged rocks rising some 20' to 30' above the sea. The flanks of the fort are unscalable cliffs some 50' to 60' in height.


This small, promontory fort was located at NW 9610 6537 and is as described by RCAHMS. No trace of any earthwork or fort was seen at NW 9598 6509 where the name "Fort" is published on OS 25" (Antiquity Model).

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 21 February 1968

This small earthwork is situated on a promontory on the coastal escarpment 990m WSW of High Auchneel farmhouse. The E approach to the promontory is cut off by a ditch 4.3m broad and 0.5m deep with an internal bank spread up to 3m thick; the crest of the bank stands 1.1m above the bottom of the ditch but no more than 0.2m above the level of the interior. At both ends the bank hooks round on to the sides of the promontory, dying out immediately on the N, but extending as a scarp for a distance of 6m on the S. At the point where this scarp peters out, a terrace 2m broad drops gently down from the interior, probably indicating the position of the entrance to the earthwork. The interior probably only measures 23.5 from ENE to WSW by 16m transversely on the W and 9.6m on the E, but the ground falls away sharply to the W and the promontory extends for a further 56m out into the sea.

RCAHMS 1912; 1985, visited (SH) September 1984


Note (20 November 2013 - 13 September 2016)

This small fort occupies a precipitous coastal promontory, which is cut off on the landward side by a low rampart spread 3m thick and rising no more than 1.1m above the bottom of an external ditch 4.3m broad and 0.5m deep. Both ends of the rampart hook round on to the sides of the promontory, dying out immediately on the N, but extending as a scarp for a short distance on the S. Some 6m to the W this too peters out at what is probably the entrance, which comprises a slight terrace some 2m broad dropping gently down eastwards from the interior towards the point where the external ditch peters out on the S margin of the promontory. The eastern half of the interior measures 23.5 from ENE to WSW and splays from 9.6m transversely on the E to 16m on the W, where the ground falls away sharply to a broken expanse of bare rock projecting a further 56m out into the sea. Thus, while the overall extent of the interior measures some 0.17 ha, the usable space is no more than 0.04 ha.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 13 September 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0127


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