Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3082: Craig Hill  

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HER:  Angus SMR per Aberdeenshire Council NO43NW0022

NMR:  NO 43 NW 22 (33365)

SM:  3038

NGR:  NO 4326 3586

X:  343262  Y:  735862  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort, and the broch within the W end of its interior, occupies the summit of Craig Hill, which forms the W end of a long ridge of hard rock with steep slopes falling away on the W and along the S flank. The slopes are particularly steep around the W end, where the summit area rises no more than 10m across the crest of the ridge, providing a strong position for the fort, which is oval on plan and measures internally about 180m from E to W by 70m transversely (1.2ha). Under trees throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was first discovered by RCAHMS investigators, who drew a plan showing at least two ramparts reduced to stony scarps extending the length of the N flank, with fragments of two others on the slope below, while oblique aerial photography since has revealed the cropmarks of three or four concentric ditches cutting back across the crest of the ridge on the E to return along the S flank, where otherwise no trace of the defences has survived cultivation and quarrying. No less than four old trackways can be seen climbing the slope, three on the N and one on the S, but there is no evidence that any is an original entrance and the three on the N may have been servicing the quarries visible along this side of the interior. These quarries are probably responsible for removing the N end of what is assumed to be an outwork to the broch, partitioning off the W extremity of the interior. Comprising a stone-faced rampart spread about 4.5m in thickness by 0.6m in height, with an external rock-cut ditch 4m in breadth by 1.2m in depth, this forms a triangular enclosure in the W end of the fort measuring a maximum of 68m from N to S by 48m transversely (0.2ha). An entrance causeway in the middle of the E side faces directly towards the broch, which measures 10.6m in diameter within a wall 4.5m in thickness. While the supposed earthwork might be contemporary with the broch, it may just as easily be the remains of a free-standing defensive enclosure utilising the earlier fortifications. The OS noted three possible hut-circle immediately to the N of the broch, but this impression may have been caused by the probable quarrying in this area.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed

Location

X:  -325447  Y:  7660908  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.923541  Latitude:  56.511431  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Angus

Historic County:   Angus

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Murroes

Condition

Extant:  
Cropmark:  
Likely Destroyed:  

Land Use

Areas of later quarrying both wihtin the interior and elsewhere on the flanks of the hill

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

The dating of the broch to probably the 1st/2nd centuries AD demonstrates that the fort here dates from the pre-Roman Iron Age

Reliability:  D - None

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

Pre Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Possible cupmarked stone lies outside the entrance to the broch

Post Hillfort Activity:  ✓  Overlain by a broch and later planted with trees throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries

Morphology/Earthwork/Typology:  Broch overlies

Investigations

Photographed from the air in 1972 by John Dewar and subsequently in 1976, 1983 and 1984 by RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme

Earthwork Survey (1957):  Plan and description during RCAHMS Survey of Marginal Lands (RCAHMS AND 2/1-7 & DP147379; Steer 1957)
1st Identified Map Depiction (1958):  Visited by the OS
Other (1972):  Scheduled
Other (1994):  Visited by the Hill-Fort Study Group
Other (1994):  Re-Scheduled

Interior Features

Featureless apart from the broch and later quarrying

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

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:  4:  but large sectors of the defences have also been removed

Number of Possible Original Entrances:  0:  None known

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Enclosing Works

Up to four ramparts, on the E accompanied by ditches, and with an inner enclosure around the broch at the W end

Enclosed Area 1:  1.2ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  0.2ha.
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  1.2ha.

Total Footprint Area:  

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✗  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✗  

Number of Ramparts:  4

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  4
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  
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:  4:  Only visible as cropmarks

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

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: Oxford

Steer, K A. (1957) Craighill, Angus'. Disc Exc Scot (1957), 39.

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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