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Doon Hill, Balig

Fort (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Doon Hill, Balig

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 64409

Site Number NX74NW 13

NGR NX 7191 4694

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NX74NW 13 7191 4694.


RCAHMS 1914, visited 1911.

The fort on the summit of Doon Hill, circular on plan, measures 56.0m NE-SW by c.50m transversely, its E side having been completely destroyed. The defences consist of two earth-and-stone ramparts and a medial flat-bottomed, rock-cut ditch. The inner rampart is now reduced to a scarp while the outer survives in the N, S and W, although the NW corner has been mutilated. There are slight traces of a possible third rampart at the N end across the easiest approach. The entrance could not be found and there are no internal structures.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS 6 April 1971.

In the course of building operations a 7m strip along the previously damaged E chord of the fort was removed, revealing a section through the defences. The defences comprised two ditches, 11.4m apart, cut into the shale bedrock, and two denuded ramparts, built from the material quarried from the ditches. The fills of the two ditches are quite dissimilar, possibly representing two phases of activity. Pollen analysis of the buried soils preserved under both ramparts may show evidence of different phases.

A Crone 1981

The ramparts of the eastern half of the fort on Doon Hill have been built over by a tank firing platform and ancillary buildings, though aerial photographs which predate these works (e.g. RAF 58/4957, frame no. 0024, 22 February 1962) show that this half of the defences had been slighted well before 1962. Indeed, a dyke depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Kirkcudbrightshire 1854, sheet 55) rides over this portion of the fort. The 1962 photographs also show a large quarry cut into the ramparts on the NW.

The ramparts on the W and what remains of the interior are obscured by a dense matt of vegetation and self-seeded hawthorn.

(KTA02 272)

Visited by RCAHMS (DCC) 8 January 2003


Note (20 December 2013 - 23 May 2016)

The fort on the summit of Doon Hill is slightly oval on plan, measuring about 56m from NE to SW by 50m transversely (2.2ha) within twin ramparts with external ditches. These have been heavily reduced, initially by cultivation, but more recently by the construction of a tank firing-platform on the E side of the defences; this also impinges on this side of the interior. Elsewhere around the western half of the circuit the inner ditch and elements of the two ramparts remain visible, the ditch measuring up to 7m in breadth. The presence of an outer ditch, which was hinted at by the suggestion by the OS in 1971 that there were traces of a third rampart on the N, was only revealed by excavation in the destroyed eastern sector, where both were shown to be rock-cut, a little over 11m apart. The interior, which was under cultivation when it was visited by RCAHMS in 1911, is featureless. The position of the entrance is not known.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0274


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