Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC1593: Dumyat  

(Castle Law)

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HER:  Stirling 1221.01

NMR:  NS 89 NW 14 (47117)

SM:  2182

NGR:  NS 8324 9736

X:  283240  Y:  697360  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort is situated on a subsidiary spur to the SW of the summit of Dumyat, utilising the topography to create what is in effect a promontory fort defended on the NE, SE and SW by cliffs and steep slopes falling away from its crest at 335m OD down virtually to sea level. The defences comprise two main elements: an oval enclosure on the summit; and two ramparts cutting off the only accessible line of approach from the W. The inner enclosure measures 27m from E to W by 16m transversely (0.03ha) within a band of rubble spread some 4.5m in thickness. The outer defences enclose a much bigger area measuring about 95m from E to W by 50m transversely (0.4ha); spread up to 5.5m in thickness, they return and unite to either side of the entrance on the W. The date and purpose of several other walls reduced to rickles of stones within the interior, and forming external enclosures to either side of the entrance, are unknown. In 1952 RCAHMS investigators found several pieces of vitrified stone in the inner of the two outer ramparts, but in 1978 only a single piece was located, and this came from the wall of the inner enclosure. While the chronological relationship between these two elements is not known, it is likely that the inner enclosure has been inserted into the interior of an earlier fort. This is one of two forts (see Atlas No.1492) that stand on hills bearing a placename derived from the ancient tribal grouping of the Maeatae (Watson 1926, 59, 100).

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -432066  Y:  7589260  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -3.881317  Latitude:  56.154629  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Stirling

Historic County:   Stirlingshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Logie

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:  374.0m

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:  ✓  Probably the insertion of the dun

None:  No details.

Investigations

Despite the spur being named Castle Law, this fort does not appear on the early editions of the OS maps and apparently escapes notice until the RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (Feachem 1955, 77; 1963, 157), prior to its inclusion in the County Inventory for Stirlingshire (RCAHMS 1963, 69-71, no.68, fig 7). W J Watson, however, correlated its placename with the ancient tribal grouping of the Maeatae (Watson 1926, 59). It was visited by the OS in 1974 and revisited by RCAHMS in 1978. It was Scheduled in 1996. Murray Cook is planning to carry out an evaluation and survey here.

Earthwork Survey (1952):  Plan and description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (RCAHMS 1963, 69-71, no.68, fig 7; RCAHMS STD 19/1-3)
Other (1974):  Surveyed at 1:10.000 by the OS
Other (1978):  Description by RCAHMS
Other (1996):  Scheduled

Interior Features

Dun stands on the highest point of the interior

Water Source

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

Surface

Dun

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 (West):  Passage-way/Corridor

Enclosing Works

The two ramparts cutting off the summit of a spur are assumed here to be the defences of the fort

Enclosed Area 1:  0.4ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.4ha.

Total Footprint Area:  0.57ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  

Number of Ramparts:  2

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts NW Quadrant:  2

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 W (1955) 'Fortifications', in Wainwright, F T (ed) The Problem of the Picts. Edinburgh

Feachem, R W (1963) Guide to Prehistoric Scotland. Batsford: Edinburgh

RCAHMS (1963) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Stirlingshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments, 2v Edinburgh

Watson, W J (1926) The history of the Celtic place-names of Scotland: being the Rhind lectures on archaeology (expanded) delivered in 1916. 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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