Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC2957: Crathie Point  

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HER:  Aberdeenshire Historic Environment Record NJ56NW0017

NMR:  NJ 56 NW 14 (17947)

SM:  

NGR:  NJ 5483 6717

X:  354830  Y:  867170  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Crathie Point, the large headland due E of Findlater Castle, is cut off on the SSW, landward, side by two lines of ramparts and ditches. The inner cuts off an area measuring 170m from NNE to SSW by a maximum of 90m transversely (1.25ha), though this includes the flanks of the promontory sloping down to the cliff-edge; the more easily occupied summit area is in the order of 0.47ha. The outer encloses a much bigger area measuring 230m in overall length by up to 135m in breadth (1.8ha), though again the more level summit area is rather less, probably extending to about 1.12ha. The inner or northern rampart is up to 7.5m in thickness, by 0.5m in height externally and 1.5m internally, and is flanked to either side by ditches about 3m in breadth. The outer line, which lies at the edge of the cultivated field 50m to the S, is also some 7.5m in thickness but only 0.3m in height and was probably accompanied by a ditch on its S; this rampart can be traced for a distance of about 50m across the promontory from the W, the line of its probable ditch being carried on eastwards from the corner of the field by a natural gully. A gap between the cliff-edge on the W and the end of the rampart probably marks the position of an entrance, while a causeway across the ditches at the E end of the inner defences also marks an original entrance. There is no evidence to indicate whether the two lines of defences are contemporary.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -307167  Y:  7902926  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.759331  Latitude:  57.69216  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Aberdeenshire

Historic County:   Banffshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Fordyce

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:  45.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

A single radiocarbon date from a spread of charcoal in the upper fill of the inner ditch behind the inner rampart

Reliability:  C - Low

Pre 1200BC:  
1200BC - 800BC:  
800BC - 400BC:  
400BC - AD50:  
AD50 - AD400:  
AD400 - AD 800:  
Post AD800:  
Unknown:  

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✗  

C14:  A single radiocarbon date from an evaluation of the defences

Investigations

Aberdeen Archaeological Services have taken oblique aerial photographs, copies of which are held by both Aberdeenshire Council and RCAHMS

1st Identified Written Reference (1896):  Noted (Buie 1896, 41)
Other (1956):  Included in the RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands
1st Identified Map Depiction (1960):  Surveyed at 1:2500 by the OS
Other (1967):  Revised at 1:2500 by the OS
Earthwork Survey (2006):  Plan and description (Irving et al 2006)
Excavation (2014):  Evaluation trench into the defences (Northern Picts Project Annual Report 2014, 34-6)

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

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:  1:  Generally only one to the promontory; the relationship between the entrances through the inner and outer defences is unknown

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (South):  Simple Gap:  Through inner rampart
Entrance 2 (South):  Simple Gap:  Through outer rampart

Enclosing Works

Two wide-spaced lines of ramparts and ditches cutting off a promontory

Enclosed Area 1:  1.25ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  1.8ha.
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  1.8ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

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:  

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

Ditches

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:  3

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Buie, J (1896) 'Excursion to Findlater Castle and Cullen'. Trans Banffshire Fld Club (1896), 41

Irving, Anderson, Cooper and Bruggimann, D, D, K and A (2006) 'Crathie Point, Aberdeenshire (Crathie Point), survey'. Disc Exc Scot, New Ser, 7 (2006), 18

Northern Picts Project Annual Report 2014 available at http://www.tarbat-discovery.co.uk/files/3114/2305/0534/Northern_Picts_Project_annual_report_2014.pdf

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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