Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC1433: Duncarnock  

(Craig of Carnock)

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

HER:  The West of Scotland Archaeology Service 8375

NMR:  NS 55 NW 3 (43882)

SM:  4339

NGR:  NS 5010 5590

X:  250100  Y:  655900  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort is situated on Duncarnock, a rocky hill which rises abruptly from the SE shore of the Glanderston Dam reservoir. An irregular polygon on plan, it measures a maximum of 185m from NE to SW by 105m transversely (1.6ha) within a thick stone wall up to 4m in thickness; for much of the circuit the wall has been reduced to a band of rubble, but along the S side it forms a mound some 7m thick and 1.5m high, and the rubble has been pulled away from its leading edge to reveal an outer face of large blocks and boulders; there is also an entrance on the SE, though the terraced trackway dropping obliquely down the slope below it may be more recent. The interior is rocky and uneven, incorporating across a saddle at its NE end a knoll that in 1955 Richard Feachem suggested may have been enclosed as a strongpoint in the defences, though the more recent survey of 2009 was not convinced that there was any evidence that this had been the case. Traces of rig-and-furrow cultivation are also visible on this knoll, while roughly in the centre of the fort there are the footings of a small rectangular building, with a second overlying the fort wall on the SE. In 1958 Frank Newall picked up a sherd of pottery and a fragment of worked shale near the NE end of the fort (Newall 1958).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✓  John Lumley

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -488837  Y:  7513393  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.391299  Latitude:  55.773174  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  East Renfrewshire

Historic County:   Renfrewshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Mearns

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:  200.0m

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:  ✓  Overlain by post-medieval field banks, rig and buildings.

None:  No details.

Investigations

Discovered and planned during the RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (Feachem 1963, 148), it was surveyed at 1:2500 by the OS in 1964. Photographed by John Dewar (held by RCAHMS) in 1971, and again by RCAHMS in 1977, 2006 and 2008, it was revisited in 2007 and resurveyed in 2009. The fort was Sceduled in 1981.

Earthwork Survey (1955):  Plan and description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (RCAHMS RED43/1 & DP148822; DC31544 & DP149908)
1st Identified Map Depiction (1964):  Surveyed at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1981):  Scheduled
Other (2007):  Description by RCAHMS
Earthwork Survey (2009):  Plan (DP064382 & DC49394)

Interior Features

Only later rectangular buildings visible

Water Source

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

Surface

Almost certainly these are both later, one of them overlying the ruined wall.

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

NO APPARENT FEATURES

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 (Southeast):  Simple Gap

Enclosing Works

Single thick wall

Enclosed Area 1:  1.6ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  1.6ha.

Total Footprint Area:  1.8ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  1

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  1

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:  

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Feachem, R (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. Batsford: London

Newall, F (1958) 'Duncarnock., Disc Exc Scot 1958, 31

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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