Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC2808: Caisteal na Coille  

(Castle Cole)

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HER:  Highland HER MHG11156

NMR:  NC 71 SE 13 (6056)

SM:  1843

NGR:  NC 7957 1337

X:  279570  Y:  913370  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

The broch that stands on the E bank of the Black Water, occupying the crest of a precipitous hillock which drops away sharply to the river along its SW flank, is also enclosed by the remains of walls that are usually regarded as outworks. Indeed the outer wall on the SE appears to abut the broch wall on the E, though in the opinion of the John MacRae, the OS surveyor who visited in 1976, this sector has been rebuilt. Elsewhere, it is reduced to no more than a band of rubble extending along the lip of the summit, not only forming an outer enclosure in front of the broch entrance on the SE, but also around the less obviously accessible area to its rear on the NW. While it may be a contemporary outwork, it is equally possible that these are the remains of an earlier enclosure on the hillock measuring about 45m from NW to SE by up to 15m transversely (0.05ha). The broch itself still stands 3m high in places and displays several architectural features, including the checked and roofed entrance passage, bar-holes, a guard chamber, aumbries in the inner wall-face and mural galleries. A wall extending around the foot of the hillock on the NE is probably a later stock boundary.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Unconfirmed:  Conventionally regarded as an outwork to the broch, and well below the 0.2ha threshold, but despite the possibly misleading observation of the wall butting onto the broch, this was possibly once a free-standing enclosure

Location

X:  -450237  Y:  7986882  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -4.044547  Latitude:  58.093011  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Highland

Historic County:   Sutherland

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Clyne

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:  85.0m

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:  ✓  Possibly overlain by broch

None:  No details.

Investigations

1st Identified Written Reference (1776):  Charles Cordiner (1780, 73-5)
1st Identified Map Depiction (1871):  Annotated Pictish Tower on the 1st edition OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1879, sheet 88; Name Book, Sutherland, No.26, p 68)
Other (1880):  Description and sketch-plan by Sir Arthur Mitchell (1881, 310-11, figs 6, 7, & 10)
Other (1909):  Description and plan of broch (RCAHMS 1911, 7-9, no.25, fig 1)
Other (1935):  Scheduled
Other (1963):  Description by Euan MacKie (2007, 632-3)
Other (1964):  Visited by the OS
Earthwork Survey (1976):  Revised at 1:10,000 by the OS and planned at 1:625 by John MacRae
Earthwork Survey (1985):  Euan MacKie planned the central court of the broch (2007, 632-3).

Interior Features

Occupied by the broch midway along the summit of the hillock

Water Source

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

Surface

broch

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

broch

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

Entrances

None known

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:  0:  Not known

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Enclosing Works

Single wall round the summit

Enclosed Area 1:  0.05ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.1ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  Excludes the broch wall

Number of Ramparts:  1

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

Cordiner, C (1780) Antiquities & Scenery of the North of Scotland, in a Series of Letters to Thomas Pennant, Esqr. London

Feachem, R (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. Batsford: London (p 173)

MacKie, E W (2007) The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700 BC-AD 500: architecture and material culture, the Northern and Southern Mainland and the Western Islands, BAR British series 444(II), 444(1), 2 V. BAR: Oxford

Mitchell, A (1881) 'Notice of Buildings designed for Defence on an Island in a Loch at Hogsetter, in Whalsay, Shetland'. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 15 (1880-1), 305-15

Name Book, Ordnance Survey Object Name Books (6 inch and 1/2500 scale); available http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/

RCAHMS (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland. 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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