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Craigoch, High Milton

Dun (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Craigoch, High Milton

Classification Dun (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) House-on-the Rock; Craigoch Castle; High Milton, Dun 230m Ne Of

Canmore ID 60744

Site Number NX06NW 5

NGR NX 0121 6682

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NX06NW 5 0121 6682

See also NX06NW 4.

Craigoch Castle (NR) (Site of)

OS 6" map (1847).

(NX 0121 6682) Earthwork (NR)

OS 6" map (1957).

The entrance may have been in the N, where there is a cleft a few feet wide. Near the waterfall there is 'a circle which seems to have been a kiln'.

G Wilson 1885.

A circular dun (R W Feachem 1963), thought in 1847 (Name Book 1847) to be the site of Craigoch Castle (NX06NW 4). It measures 27ft diameter internally, within a wall-thickness of some 7ft, and stands on the W side of the grass-grown summit of an isolated rock, protected naturally on the W by a burn and on the NE and E by a natural ditch. Within the dun are two cup-shaped depressions 4ft in diameter and 1ft deep.

Outside the wall, on the W, between it and the outer bank, there is an oblong hollow some 6 to 7ft in length and of indeterminate breadth, while on the east side of the dun, occupying the remainder of the summit, there is an oblong enclosure 32ft by 12ft. The position of the entrance is uncertain.


A circular structure or hollow, c.9.0m in diameter, is all that can now be identified on the summit of the rocky knoll. From the evidence it is impossible to verify the classification 'dun'.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 19 February 1968

Situated on a rocky knoll 230m NE of High Mitton farmhouse there are the remains of a substantial stone structure. It is roughly rectangular on plan and measures 14.5m from E to W by 17m transversely over a mound of rubble which varies from 6m in thickness and 0.6m in height on the W to 2.9m by 0.5m on the E. A number of external facing stones are visible on the N and W. The structure is situated on the W side of the knoll but there are also slight traces of debris continuing along the N side and along the E lip. Although it is possible that these are the remains of a dun, it is more likely that they are the remains of a severely-robbed tower-house, perhaps Craigoch Castle. The remains of a stoney bank, reduced to a stoney scarp 0.9m high, extends along the S side of the knoll; to the E its line is extended by a modern fieldwall.

OS 6-inch map, Wigtownshire, 1st ed (1849), sheet ix; OS Name Book; G Wilson 1885; P H M'Kerlie 1906; RCAHMS 1912; R W Feachem 1977; RCAHMS 1985, visited September 1984,


Field Visit (22 June 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.

Excavation (March 2019)

NX 0121 6682 An excavation was undertaken, in March 2019, at High Milton Dun (Canmore ID: 60744). The excavation aimed to assess the survival of archaeological structures and deposits following stone quarrying at the site.

The excavations comprised: Trench 1, a 10 x 1.5m trench spanning the enclosure wall and the surviving dun interior; Trench 2 was a 1 x 1m test pit located at the base of the rocky knoll upon which the dun sits.

Trench 1 identified a bank at the crest of the knoll enclosing a circular structure, with a suggested internal diameter of c.8.8m. Within the circular structure was an area of rough paving and associated occupation deposit. These structures were overlain by rubble collapse deposits. Trench 2 at the base of the knoll, revealed only rubble derived from the collapse of the dun structure.

Alongside these trench excavations the exposed rock face, where the stone quarry has damaged the monument interior, was cleaned in a series of 1m panel sections. Reconnaissance augering was also undertaken to gauge the potential for survival of palaeoenvironmental material.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Historic Environment Scotland

Graeme Cavers and Jamie Humble - AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES Vol 20)

OASIS ID: aocarcha1-348344


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