Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3066: Auchterhouse  

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HER:  Angus SMR per Aberdeenshire Council NO33NE0003

NMR:  NO 33 NE 3 (31874)

SM:  

NGR:  NO 3543 3975

X:  335430  Y:  739750  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

A large fort is situated on the broad plateau surrounding summit knoll of Auchterhouse Hill. It is defended by up to five ramparts with intermediate ditches on the SE and E, the two outer apparently earthen and standing up to 1.5m above the bottom of the intervening ditch, but the three inner heavily reduced by stone-robbing and barely visible. Indeed in 1967, the OS could trace only a single rampart round the NE and NW, while the steep SW flank was apparently left undefended. No detailed measurements of the interior have been recorded, but it measures in the order of 160m from N to S by 135m transversely (1.73ha), and no entrances have been observed. The only feature in the interior is what may be an earlier cairn measuring about 5.8m in diameter by 0.2m in height over a kerb of boulders.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -339719  Y:  7667753  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -3.051749  Latitude:  56.545344  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Angus

Historic County:   Angus

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Auchterhouse

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:  424.0m

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:  ✓  Possible cairn

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Planted with trees in the 19th century

None:  No details.

Investigations

1st Identified Written Reference (1795):  Noted (Stat Acct xiv, 1795, 525)
1st Identified Map Depiction (1860):  Annotated Fort in woodland on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Forfar 1865, sheet 49.3)
Other (1899):  Description by David Christison (1900, 106)
Other (1958):  Description for RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands
Other (1967):  Surveyed at 1:2500 by the OS

Interior Features

Featureless apart from the possible cairn

Water Source

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

Surface

Possible cairn

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

None known

Total Number of Breaks Through Ramparts:  

Number of Possible Original Entrances:  0:  None known

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Enclosing Works

Up to five ramparts with intermediate ditches

Enclosed Area 1:  1.73ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  1.7ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  

Number of Ramparts:  5

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  1
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  5
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:  4

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Christison, D (1900) 'The forts, "camps", and other field-works of Perth, Forfar and Kincardine'. Proc Soc Antiq Scot 34 (1899-1900), 43-120

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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