Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC0244: Drummore Castle  

(Castle Hill)

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HER:  Dumfries & Galloway MDG3520

NMR:  NX 64 NE 5 (63925)

SM:  1069

NGR:  NX 6879 4570

X:  268790  Y:  545700  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

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.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -449967  Y:  7321023  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.042119  Latitude:  54.789004  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Dumfries & Galloway

Historic County:   Kirkcudbrightshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Kirkcudbright

Condition

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Woodland:  
Commercial Forestry Plantation:  
Parkland:  
Pasture (Grazing):  
Arable:  
Scrub/Bracken:  
Bare Outcrop:  
Heather/Moorland:  
Heath:  
Built-up:  
Coastal Grassland:  
Other:  

Landscape

Hillfort Type

Contour Fort:  
Partial Contour Fort:  
Promontory Fort:  
Hillslope Fort:  
Level Terrain Fort:  
Marsh Fort:  
Multiple Enclosure Fort:  

Topographic Position

Hilltop:  
Coastal Promontory:  
Inland Promontory:  
Valley Bottom:  
Knoll/Hillock/Outcrop:  
Ridge:  
Cliff/Plateau-edge/Scarp:  
Hillslope:  
Lowland:  
Spur:  

Dominant Topographic Feature:  

Aspect

North:  
Northeast:  
East:  
Southeast:  
South:  
Southwest:  
West:  
Northwest:  
Level:  

Elevation

Altitude:  120.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

In the absence of excavation, there are neither stratified artefacts nor radiocarbon dates to provide a chronology for the defences.

Reliability:  D - None

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

None:  No details.

Investigations

Drummore Castle is named on John Ainslie's map of the Stewartryof Kirkcudbright in 1797, and mistakenly shown as a tower-house on Thomson's later map (1832). Subsequently shown in greater detail in 1850 on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Kircudbrightshire 1854, sheet 54) and sketch-planned by Frederick Coles about 1890 (1891, 359-60). Planned by RCAHMS investigators for the County Inventory for Kirkcudbrightshire (1914, 120-2, no.231) and subsequently revisited in 1952. In 1971 it was resurveyed at 1:2500 by the OS.

1st Identified Map Depiction (1797):  Named on John Ainslie's map of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright (1797)
Other (1850):  Named in Gothic type on the 1st edition OS 6-inch map (Kircudbrightshire 1854, sheet 54)
Earthwork Survey (1890):  Sketch plan and description (Coles 1891, 359-60, fig 4)
Earthwork Survey (1911):  Plan and description (RCAHMS 1914, 120-2, no.231, fig 83)
Other (1937):  Scheduled
Other (1952):  Description RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands
Other (1971):  Resurveyed at 1:2500 by the OS

Interior Features

Featureless as a result of later cultivation.

Water Source

Hollow observed on the S in 1911, when it was compared with a stone filled well

None:  
Spring:  
Stream:  
Pool:  
Flush:  
Well:  
Other:  

Surface

No Known Features:  
Round Stone Structures:  
Rectangular Stone Structures:  
Curvilinear Platforms:  
Other Roundhouse Evidence:  
Pits:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  

Excavation

No Known Excavation:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Geophysics

No Known Geophysics:  
Pits:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Quarry Hollows:  
Other:  
Nothing Found:  

Finds

No Known Finds:  
Pottery:  
Metal:  
Metalworking:  
Human Bones:  
Animal Bones:  
Lithics:  
Environmental:  
Other:  

Aerial

APs Not Checked:  
None:  
Roundhouses:  
Rectangular Structures:  
Pits:  
Postholes:  
Roads/Tracks:  
Other:  

Entrances

See main summary

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Northeast):  Simple Gap

Enclosing Works

At least three ramparts but with the appearance of four on the NE where the defences have been rebuilt in a second phase.

Enclosed Area 1:  0.3ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.3ha.

Total Footprint Area:  0.8ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  4

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  4
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  3
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  3
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  3

Current Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  
Unknown:  

Multi-period Morphology

Partial Univallate:  
Univallate:  
Partial Bivallate:  
Bivallate:  
Partial Multivallate:  
Multivallate:  

Surface Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Rubble:  
Wall-walk:  
Evidence of Timber:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
Other:  

Excavated Evidence

None:  
Earthen Bank:  
Stone Wall:  
Murus Duplex:  
Timber-framed:  
Timber-laced:  
Vitrification:  
Other Burning:  
Palisade:  
Counter Scarp Bank:  
Berm:  
Unfinished:  
No Known Excavation:  
Other:  

Gang Working

Gang Working:  ✗ 

Ditches

Ditches:  

Number of Ditches:  2

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Coles, F R (1891) The motes, forts, and doons of The Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. Proc Soc Antiq Scotland 25352-96

Feachem, R (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland, London (p 130)

RCAHMS (1914) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Fifth report and inventory of monuments and constructions in Galloway, II, county of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, Edinburgh

Terms of Use

The online version of the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland should be cited as:

Lock, G. and Ralston, I. 2017.  Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://hillforts.arch.ox.ac.uk.

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