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Garliachen, Laigh Sinniness

Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Garliachen, Laigh Sinniness

Classification Promontory Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 62239

Site Number NX25SW 10

NGR NX 2157 5219

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NX25SW 10 2157 5219.

(NX 2157 5219) Garliachen (NAT)

Fort (NR)

OS 1:10000 map (1982)

Promontory fort: A promontory is bounded on the E by a glen running towards the farm, and on the S and W by cliffs. An earth-and-stone bank 6' - 7' in height runs across the landward end of the promontory, from the glen to the cliff on the opposite side. In front of this bank was a 15' wide ditch, now only visible at the E end. Within the bank, roughly parallel to it and 40' away, there has been erected a wall between points of outcropping rock, except to NW, where a gap has been left between two rocks for an entrance to the promontory. The wall, which seems to have been about 20' thick at base, is entirely broken down, and is represented by a mass of loose stones 40' wide between the central points of rock. The entrance has been at the W end. The interior measures 70' - 80' in length to seaward by 66' in breadth and the length of the frontage is about 200'. Against the outer face of the inner wall, near its E end, is a stony foundation 10' in diameter.

Wilson adds that he was informed by the farmer that the entrance in the NE was cut to give access to a road leading to the sea, and is not original.

G Wilson 1899; RCAHMS 1912, visited 1911.

A promontory fort generally as described above. The gap in the inner wall lines up with a gap (also between two outcrops) in the outer bank to form a well-defined entrance. Another gap in the east end of the bank is a later mutilation. The "stony foundation" at the east end of the inner wall is reduced almost to ground level and is impossible to classify. The name Garliachen could not be confirmed locally.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (BS) 4 May 1977.


Field Visit (28 September 1953)

Promontory Fort, Laigh Sinniness (Inventory No. 306).

There is nothing to add to the Inventory description. The chief interest of this fort is the association of a massive dry-stone inner wall (probably 15ft in thickness) with an outer earthen rampart.

Visited by RCAHMS (KA Steer) 28 September 1953.

Measured Survey (2003)

Surveyed and drawn by AOC Archaeology in 2003.

Note (20 December 2013 - 18 May 2016)

The defences of this fort, which cut off the landward approaches to this precipitous coastal promontory from the N, comprise an outer earthen rampart up to 2m in height, probably with an external ditch up to 4.5m in breadth, and a thick inner dry-stone wall. Set some 12m behind it, the latter has been heavily robbed and reduced to a band of loose rubble about 10m broad. A gap in the E end of the defences is relatively recent, and the original entrance probably lay towards the W side of the promontory, utilising corresponding gaps in the outcrops that can be seen on the lines of both the inner and outer defences. Thus, while at some point the two lines may have acted in unison, equally their very different characters suggest that they represent two separate periods of construction, the outer taking in an irregular area measuring about 60m from ENE to WSW by 40m transversely and extending to 0.14ha, but the inner an area of no more than 0.05ha.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0211


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