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Drummore Castle

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Drummore Castle

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Castle Hill

Canmore ID 63925

Site Number NX64NE 5

NGR NX 6879 4570

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Kirkcudbright
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Stewartry
  • Former County Kirkcudbrightshire

Archaeology Notes

NX64NE 5 6879 4570.

(NX 6879 4570) Drummore Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

This fort, occupying a conspicuous hill, is oval on plan, measuring 210' NE-SW by 160' transversely within a stony rampart or wall which has a hornwork covering the entrance, in the NE. This is surrounded by two other ramparts and a medial ditch, which may be strictly contemporary, but are more likely modifications to add strength. In 1952, the interior, which had been ploughed at one time was described as featureless, but in 1911, an 8' diameter hole, having the appearance of a well filled with stones, was noted in the S corner, at the base of the rampart. A similar hollow, 6' in diameter, was also noted at the base of the outer rampart.

This fort is reminiscent of the local vitrified group, but no vitrification was noted in 1952 (RCAHMS TS., 1 October 1952).

R W Feachem 1963; RCAHMS 1914, visited 1911

Drummore Castle (name confirmed) situated on the rounded top of Castle Hill, is an oval fort of two phases, which measures internally 64.0m NE-SW by 46.0m transversely.

Phase I consists of two ditches between three earth-and- stone ramparts except on the SE side where two scarps and a berm only survive, all traces of the outer rampart having been destroyed by ploughing. The entrance is in the NE.

Phase II consists of a single stone wall which overlies the inner rampart of Phase I except at the N end where it has been constructed within the line of the earlier phase. This wall accompanied by a recutting of the ditch on the S, but not elsewhere which would suggest that Phase II is incomplete. There are two breaks in the rampart at the N end.

The interior is featureless with no trace of either of the holes mentioned.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (JP) 25 January 1971.


Field Visit (12 May 1952)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project.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

Note (20 December 2013 - 23 May 2016)

This fort is situated in woodland on the NE side of the broad summit of Castle Hill. Roughly oval on plan, it measures 64m from NE to SW by 48m transversely (0.26ha) within a band of defences comprising at least three ramparts with two intermediate ditches, though the outermost rampart has been obliterated by ploughing on the SE. The innermost rampart presents an external scarp up to 3.5m in height and the inner ditch is of the order of 8m in breadth by 2m in depth. The entrance is on the NE, where there appears to be an additional rampart between the innermost and the outer pair. Described in 1952 by RCAHMS investigators as a hornwork, John Palmer of the OS was probably correct in 1971 when he suggested that the inner rampart had been rebuilt in a secondary phase and realigned within its original line in this sector on the NE, thus reducing the interior to its present size from a maximum extent of as much as 0.32ha.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0244


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