Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC1715: Fallburn  

(Thankerton; Totherin Hill)

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HER:  The West of Scotland Archaeology Service 10594

NMR:  NS 93 NE 6 (47509)

SM:  2610

NGR:  NS 9619 3674

X:  296190  Y:  636740  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort situated in the gently shelving moorland at the foot of the northern flank of the Tinto Hills is remarkably well-preserved, with a strong multivallate defence comprising two ramparts with external ditches, the outer of which is also accompanied around most of the circuit by a counterscarp bank. The inner rampart measures up to 12m in thickness by 2.8m in internal height, and appears to be capped by a stone wall some 3m in thickness. The interior, which measures 64m from NE to SW by 55m transversely (0.27ha), has evidently been utilised in the post-medieval period as a pound or fold and the greater part is enclosed by a low turf bank. At both of the entrances, on the ENE and WNW respectively, the two ramparts return and unite around the terminals of the ditches to form an entrance passage.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -406280  Y:  7481793  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -3.649678  Latitude:  55.613182  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  South Lanarkshire

Historic County:   Lanarkshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Covington And Thankerton

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

A very gentle shelving slope, which is effectively level terrain.

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:  280.0m

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:  ✓  Interior utilised for a post-medieval fold

None:  No details.

Investigations

Depicted on William Forrest's map of The County of Lanark from Actual Survey (1816), it is shown in fine detail on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Lanarkshire 1864, sheet 33.14). Noted by George Irving (Irving and Murray 1864, 24-5), the fort was sketch-planned by David Christison in 1889 (Christison 1890, 323-4, fig 22), and eventually surveyed by RCAHMS in 1959 and revisited in 1975 during the preparation of the County Inventory for Lanarkshire (RCAHMS 1978, 101-2, no.231, fig 58). It was Scheduled in 1967 and the OS surveyed the earthworks at 1:2500 in 1968. Photogenic from the air, it has been photographed under varying conditions by CUCAP and RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1991 and 2009.

1st Identified Map Depiction (1816):  William Forrest, The County of Lanark from Actual Survey (1816)
Other (1858):  Annotated Camp on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Lanarkshire 1864, sheet 33.14)
Other (1864):  Description by George Irving (Irving and Murray 1864, 24-5)
Earthwork Survey (1889):  Sketch-plan and description by David Christison (1890, 323-4, fig 22)
Earthwork Survey (1959):  Plan and description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (RCAHMS 1978, 101-2, no.231, fig 58; RCAHMS LAD 139/1-2 & SC572992
Other (1967):  Scheduled
Other (1968):  Surveyed at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1975):  Plan and description reviewed (RCAHMS 1978, 101-2, no.231, fig 58)

Interior Features

Featureless apart from a post-medieval turf-walled enclosure

Water Source

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

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 (Northeast):  Passage-way/Corridor
Entrance 2 (Northwest):  Passage-way/Corridor

Enclosing Works

Twin ramparts and ditches with a counterscarp bank

Enclosed Area 1:  0.27ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.3ha.

Total Footprint Area:  0.78ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  2

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

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Christison, D (1890) 'Forts, camps, and motes of the Upper Ward of Lanarkshire'. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 24 (1889-90), 281-352

Irving and Murray, G V and A (1864) The upper ward of Lanarkshire described and delineated, 3v Glasgow

RCAHMS (1978) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Lanarkshire: an inventory of the prehistoric and Roman monuments. HMSO: 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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