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Fell Of Barhullion

Chevaux De Frise (Prehistoric), Fort (Prehistoric)

Site Name Fell Of Barhullion

Classification Chevaux De Frise (Prehistoric), Fort (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 62757

Site Number NX34SE 15

NGR NX 3745 4188

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NX34SE 15 3745 4188.

(NX 3745 4188) Earthwork (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

A fort, stone-walled settlement (R W Feachem 1965) occupies a commanding situation towards the S end of the ridge on the summit of the Fell of Barhullion. It is an oval structure, c.140' x 60' within two walls. The debris of the inner wall is particularly massive, while that of the outer is such as may be expected from the decay of an 8' thick wall. It has been suggested that the inner wall may contain chambers or galleries, though excavation is needed to prove this. Though this would be most unusual in a fort in this district, it it not impossible, considering the proximity of the sub-rectangular or D-shaped galleried duns of Argyll, and particularly that at Castle Haven (NX54NE 3). An outer defence, formed by a scanty band of earthfast blocks, c.1' high, may originally have been another wall from which most of the material has been robbed, or possibly, a chevaux de frise. There are slight indications of what may be a filled-in ditch running across the rocky tip of the site at the S end. Of the two gaps in the defences, that at the S is almost certainly an original entrance while that in the E may be original secondary.

R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1912, visited 1911; TS., visited 1955

This fort appears to comprise two constructional phases.

The first consists of a slight outer rampart in which a few facing stones are visible. There is no trace of this rampart on the W side where it is probably overlaid by debris from the stone wall of the second phase. On the N side of the fort, on a level approach, are eighteen earthfast stones, randomly placed, which are undoubtedly the remains of a 'chevaux de frise', though there is no evident entrance in the outer wall at this point.

The second phase consists of a well-built faced stone wall up to 3.0m wide enclosing an area 32.0m N-S by 20m with an entrance in the S. On the W side, the wall widens and appears to contain a collapsed gallery now indicated by a depression within the wall material which extends for about 10m and terminates just before a 1.4m square constructed cell. Interally the fort is featureless. The alleged ditch at the S end is a natural gulley.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (IA) 1 February 1973


Field Visit (27 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.


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