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Moss Castle

Fort (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Moss Castle

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Moss Castle, Dalton

Canmore ID 66133

Site Number NY07NE 9

NGR NY 0884 7603

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Dalton
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Annandale And Eskdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NY07NE 9 0884 7603

Moss Castle [NAT]

Fort [NR]

OS (GIS) AIB, December 2007.

(NY 088 760) Fort at Moss Castle discovered during marginal lands survey of 1951-5. Recommended for scheduling. (Visible on air photographs CPE/ Scot/UK/282- 3155-6)

RCAHMS 1957; R W Feachem 1956

Centred: NY 0884 7603. The fragmentary remains of a fort enclose the summit of Moss Castle hill. They are best preserved on the south side where the defences consisted of double ramparts. Elsewhere the remains are slight, and on the north the defences have been obliterated. A well defined entrance is in the south side.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 21 June 1966

This fort measures approximately 100m E-W by 150m N-S within a single earth-and-stone rampart up to 1.9m high externally where best preserved on the S. On the E and W it merges with and utilises natural scarps, and on the N, no defences exist. Several quarry scoops below the rampart on the S and E are modern.

In the interior are several natural platforms, but no trace of huts. Defences were probably never constructed on the N side of this fort, and it is possibly unfinished.

Visited by OS (DWR) 21 February 1973.

Moss Castle, Dalton. Listed as fort.

RCAHMS 1997.

Scheduled as 'Moss Castle, fort... on the centre peak of a ridge on the W side of the valley of the River Annan, at 220m abovre sea level.'

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 7 November 2007.


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

Note (21 May 2014 - 23 May 2016)

This fort occupies the northern summit of Almagill Hill. The defences are best formed on the S, facing into the saddle separating it from the southern summit, where two ramparts can be seen, the inner forming a scarp some 1.9m in external height. Elsewhere on the E and W, where the hill falls away more steeply, only the inner rampart can be traced, and there is no evidence that this completed its circuit on the N. The roughly oval interior measures about 150m from N to S by 100m transversely (1.3ha) and is featureless. There is an entrance on the S.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 23 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC0852


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