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Cairnhead Mote

Promontory Fort

Site Name Cairnhead Mote

Classification Promontory Fort

Canmore ID 63094

Site Number NX43NE 4

NGR NX 4861 3825

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2016.

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NX43NE 4 4861 3825.

(NX 4861 3825) Cairnhead Mote (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

Cairnhead Mote is a promontory fort, heavily overgrown. A narrow rocky point, rising 20-30' above sea level, is defended on the landward side by two ditches with a medial and an outer mound. The inner ditch is 14' wide 3' 6" deep and 80' long, while the outer is 18' wide. The medial rampart rises 10' above the outer ditch, while the outer mound is slight. An additional defence is provided by a wall bounding the rock at the side of a shallow creek on the N side of the interior.

RCAHMS 1912, visited 1911; TS., visited 1955; R W Feachem 1956

Cairnhead Mote consists of a double rampart with outer ditches and slight traces of a counter scarp. No trace of walling could be found in the N.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (IA) 24 January 1973


Field Visit (26 September 1953)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project.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

Field Visit (2014)

As described. Scrub and gorse covered. Impossible to see ramparts clearly and seem eroded in all places. High potential for coastal erosion, especially when rough conditions.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 2014

Field Visit (21 October 2015)

ShoreUPDATE 21/10/2015 The coast edge in this area is hard rocky cliffs, the hinterland is extremely densely vegetated. No visible earthworks at the coast edge. No erosion of the coast edge.

Visited by Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) 2015


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