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Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Waterside

Classification Earthwork (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 64961

Site Number NX86NW 4

NGR NX 8090 6595

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NX86NW 4 8090 6595.

(NX 8090 6595) Earthwork (NR)

OS 6" map (1957)

This earthwork occupies a strong natural position in the NW angle of a steep-sided plateau some 60' high on the left bank of the Urr Water. It has been formed by drawing two curving ramparts, each with an external ditch, across the top of the plateau, thereby cutting off a flat irregularly-shaped area, 120' N-S and also E-W.

The two ramparts are only parallel for half the distance and increasingly diverge from one another as they approach the N edge of the plateau, but it does not necessarily follow from this that they are of different dates. The level triangular space between the inner ditch and outer rampart which results from this divergence may have been deliberately provided to serve the site for a watch-tower or guard-chamber commanding the entrance passage described below.

Both ramparts have been heavily reduced by former cultivation and in the absence of excavation nothing can be said about their dimensions or nature of their construction. The inner one, which may originally have continued along the N and W margins of the plateau, is now only traceable in the SE, while the outer rampart, still visible for its entire length, is nowhere over 2' high. Both the ditches, however, have clearly been of substantial size, each having an effective width of from 30 - 40'.

The original entrance is presumably represented by the modern track which runs along the N edge of the plateau, skirting the open ends of the defences, and enters the interior of the earthwork at the NW corner. The impression given by the remains is that the work is medieval rather than prehistoric.

RCAHMS typescript 3 October 1952

Earthwork, as described by RCAHMS except that the outer 'ditch' is simply the result of ploughing.

Revised at 25".

Visited by OS (WDJ) 9 July 1963.


Field Visit (3 October 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 small fortification comprises two elements, namely a rampart with external ditch cutting off the SE approaches to this steep-side promontory, and an inner enclosure standing to its rear. While no evidence can be advanced for any sequence between the two, the outer may be a promontory work in its own right, with its rampart reduced to no more than 0.6m in height behind a ditch some 10m in breadth, cutting off a triangular area measuring 85m from NE to SW by 50m transversely (0.21ha). The inner enclosure is subsquare on plan, measuring some 35m across (0.12ha) within a ploughed down rampart with an external ditch also about 10m broad. While the rampart of the inner enclosure is only visible on the E, it may have continued around both the N and S sides. The entrance was probably along the N margin of the promontory, where a more modern track can be followed to a gap in the inner enclosure near its NW corner.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0315


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