Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC2923: Doune of Relugas  

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HER:  Moray per Aberdeenshire Council NJ04NW0004

NMR:  NJ 04 NW 5 (15755)

SM:  

NGR:  NJ 0039 4955

X:  300390  Y:  849550  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

The Doune of Relugas is a vitrified fort occupying a steep-sided hillock within a bend in the gorge of the River Divie not far above its confluence with the River Findhorn. The vitrified wall has been heavily disturbed, on the one hand by a modern revetment and on the other by a garden wall encircling the summit, which is roughly oval on plan and measures about 48m from WNW to ESE by 27m transversely (0.1ha). Having been variously a shrubbery and a vegetable garden, the only feature visible within the interior is a pile of cleared stones on the E. While the modern path gains the summit on the E, it is not certain that this represents the original position of the entrance, but access from the N and W is blocked by an outer ditch and rampart set at the foot of the hillock and extending out to the edge of the gorge on the E; the ditch is some 5.5m broad and 2m deep, while the rampart on its outer lip is 5.5m thick by 1.5m in height. They are pierced by a modern cutting on the NW and truncated by the construction of outbuildings to the old house on the SW.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -407980  Y:  7868228  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -3.664945  Latitude:  57.525186  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Moray

Historic County:   Morayshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Edinkillie

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:  130.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

Ring-headed pins were possibly found here but in the absence of modern 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

Moray HER also hold several ground views

1st Identified Written Reference (1793):  Description (Stat Acct 8, 1793, 565)
Excavation (1842):  Diggings by Sir Thomas Dick Lauder reported and the discovery of pottery (NSA 13, Elginshire, 185)
1st Identified Map Depiction (1871):  Named in Gothic type on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Elginshire 1874, sheet 15.15; Name Book, Elginshire, No.23, p 54)
Other (1943):  Sketch outline and description by Angus Graham and Gordon Childe for RCAHMS wartime Emergency Surveys
Earthwork Survey (1957):  Plan and description by RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (RCAHMS DC31564-5 & DP149897-8; Feachem 1963, 139-40)
Other (1971):  Revised at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1975):  Wall and animal bones observed on the E (Keillar 1975)
Other (1977):  Vitrifaction observed (Aberdeen Archaeological Services 1977)
Other (1991):  Description by RCAHMS

Interior Features

Featureless

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

Pottery now lost, but two ring-headed pins may also have been found here

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

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 around the summit and an outwork on two sides

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

Total Footprint Area:  0.7ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  2

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

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Aberdeen Archaeological Surveys (1977) 'Edinkillie, Doune of Relugas'. Disc Exc Scot (1977), 23

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

Keillar, I (1975) 'Edinkillie, Doune of Relugas'. Disc Exc Scot (1975), 33

NSA (1834-1845) The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, 15v Edinburgh

Stat Acct (Date) Statistical Account of Scotland: Drawn up from the Communications of the Ministers of the Different Parishes (Sinclair, J ed), 1791-99

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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