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Barnkirk Hill

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Barnkirk Hill

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 62930

Site Number NX36NE 5

NGR NX 39430 66405

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NX36NE 5 3942 6640.

(Area: NX 394 664) The remains of a double-walled oval fort have been located on Barnkirk Hill and planned by RCAHMS.

R W Feachem 1956; RCAHMS 1957

Situated on the top of Barnkirk Hill, at NX 3942 6640, are the slight remains of a fort. It consists of two ramparts enclosing a central oval area measuring 88.0m NW-SE by 54.0m E-W with an entrance in the NW. The ramparts are almost completely ploughed out, existing as mere scarps c.0.5m average height, apart from at the S end where the inner and outer faces of the lower rampart can be traced.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (RD) 16 September 1966.


Field Visit (9 October 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This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project.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.

Reference (1957)

This site is noted in the ‘List of monuments discovered during the survey of marginal land (1951-5)’ (RCAHMS 1957, xiv-xviii). The 286 monuments were listed by county, parish, classification and name, and the list included an indication of whether they had been planned (P), whether they were visible only as a cropmark (C), and whether they were worthy of preservation (*).

Drawings are catalogued to individual site records. Investigator's notebooks are availiable in the MS collection. Site descriptions are availiable in contemporary RCAHMS inventories, or in three typescript volumes availiable in the library.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 24 October 2012

Aerial Photographic Transcription (14 December 2011)

Note (20 December 2013 - 31 August 2016)

This fort is situated on the rounded summit of Barnkirk Hill and has been heavily reduced by cultivation, so much so that it was only discovered on aerial photographs by RCAHMS in 1955. Oval on plan, it measures about 88m from NNW to SSE by 54m transversely (0.37ha) within two roughly concentric stone walls set about 20m apart; the outer wall encloses a total area of about 0.88ha. Both walls have been reduced to little more than scarps about 0.5m high from which occasional facing stones protrude, but both faces of the outer can be identified on the S, here measuring about 3.5m in thickness. There is a possible entrance on the NW.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 31 August 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0222


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