Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3118: Nether Drums  

Sources: Esri, DigitalGlobe, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, GeoEye, USDA FSA, USGS, Getmapping, Aerogrid, IGN, IGP, and the GIS User Community

NMR:  NO 20 NE 97 (29864)

SM:  6937

NGR:  NO 2743 0628

X:  327434  Y:  706283  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

Cropmarks have revealed a small fortification occupying a low hillock that forms part of a spur dropping down the slope between two burn gullies NW of Nether Drum. The overall configuration of the defences is unclear, but in the shallow saddle on the uphill side, three ditches are clearly visible on the photographs, extending SE from terminals flanking what must be one side of an entrance on the WSW. The inner and middle ditch, which are between 2m and 3m in breadth, converge and merge into one on the S, and while there are traces of two ditches continuing round the E and N, it is not certain to which circuits they belong. Nevertheless, their projected circuits roughly oppose the terminals of the inner and middle ditches at the entrance, suggesting that they represent two successive enclosures, one measuring internally about 44m from ESE to WNE by 36m transversely (0.12ha), and the other 50m by 36m respectively (0.14ha); both would be considerably smaller when allowance is made for an internal bank, giving measurements of roughly 0.9ha and 0.1ha. The outer ditch lies concentrically to the middle ditch but is visible only around the S and W, where it appears to be in the order of 5m in breadth, though a bleached line in the cropmark about 2m within its inner lip may indicate that this too is a conflation of two ditches. The interior is featureless and the changing character of the cropmarks across the hillock suggests that large areas have been heavily truncated.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed:  Falls well below the 0.2ha threshold, but the topographical position and character of the perimeter works indicate that this is a small fort.

Location

X:  -353160  Y:  7607056  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -3.17249  Latitude:  56.243563  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Fife

Historic County:   Fife

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Falkland

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:  95.0m

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:  ✓  Ploughed flat

None:  No details.

Investigations

First photographed by CUCAP in 1979, and re-photographed on three occasions by RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1984, 1994 and 1995

1st Identified Written Reference (1979):  First photographed by CUCAP

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:  1:  Ploughed flat

Number of Possible Original Entrances:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (West):  Simple Gap

Enclosing Works

Three ditches, two of which form complete circuits but probably represent separate periods of construction.

Enclosed Area 1:  0.09ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  0.1ha.
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.1ha.

Total Footprint Area:  0.35ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✓  

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  3

Number of Ramparts NE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SE Quadrant:  2
Number of Ramparts SW Quadrant:  3
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:  3

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

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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