Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland

SC3405: Chatto Craig  

(Upper Chatto)

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

HER:  Scottish Borders 57959

NMR:  NT 71 NE 43 (57959)

SM:  1692

NGR:  NT 7670 1662

X:  376700  Y:  616620  (EPSG:27700)

Boundary:  

Summary

This fort is situated on the summit of Chatto Craig, a commanding summit overlooking the valley of the Kale Water S of Chatto. The defences comprise two elements, namely an inner enclosure taking in the very summit, and a large outer enclosure extending round a lower terrace, but they are also overlain by two subsidiary enclosures on the W. The inner enclosure is oval on plan, and measures 43m from NNW to SSE by 32m transversely (0.13ha) within a rampart some 3.3m in thickness; several runs of outer face are visible on the ESE, SSE, SW and WNW respectively, and the entrance is on the NW. The outer defences follow the topography to form an irregular enclosure measuring internally about 105m from NW to SE by 80m transversely (0.6ha). Its rampart has been largely reduced to a scree of grass-grown rubble, but runs of outer facing-stones can be seen intermittently around its circuit, particularly on the SE, and some of the individual blocks are 1m long and 0.9m high; an outer rampart of similar construction can be seen looping round the S side, springing from the line of the main rampart on the SW and possibly returning on the E, though this latter sector was interpreted by RCAHMS investigators in 1948 as a reinforcing buttress to the main rampart. The entrance is on the NW, pierced by a hollowed trackway leading up to the entrance into the inner enclosure, where it is flanked by the remains of two low walls. This trackway, however, is also leading between what are probably two walled enclosures that overlie the outer rampart, and the walls flanking its inner end are probably butted against the inner rampart. While the RCAHMS investigators regarded the fort to be more probably early Medieval than Iron Age, comprising an inner citadel with an outer court, their reasoning, partly based on the incorporation of the outcrops into the defensive scheme, does not stand close scrutiny. The presence of these overlying enclosures is more likely to be a manifestation of a phase of late Iron Age settlement overlying earlier defences, a typical sequence in the region, and in any case there is no reason to assume either that the two elements are contemporary, or that the outer was not a free-standing fort. Notably, the only structure visible within either is a circular platform within the northern of these enclosures overlying the outer circuit; in this case the enclosure has been provided with an independent entrance driven through the earlier rampart on the WNW.

Status

Citizen Science:  ✗  

Reliability of Data:  Confirmed

Reliability of Interpretation:  Confirmed:  The outer enclosure is likely to be a freestanding fort and is well in excess of the 0.2ha threshold

Location

X:  -263811  Y:  7448308  (EPSG: 3857)

Longitude:  -2.369854  Latitude:  55.442928  (EPSG:4326)

Country:  Scotland

Current County or Unitary Authority:  Scottish Borders

Historic County:   Roxburghshire

Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  Hownam

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:  310.0m

Boundary

Boundary Type:  

Second HER:  

Second Current County or Unitary Authority:  

Second Historic County:  

Second Current Parish/Community/Council/Townland:  

Dating Evidence

There is no particular reason to believe this is an early medieval nuclear fort, and the overlying enclosures are more likely to be a late Iron Age settlement.

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:  ✓  Overlain by what is probably a late Iron Age settlement

None:  No details.

Investigations

Photographed by CUCAP in 1948, and by RCAHMS Aerial Survey Programme in 1992, 2000 and 2010

1st Identified Map Depiction (1859):  Annotated Fort on the 1st edition OS 25-inch map (Roxburgh 1863, sheet 22.14)
Other (1884):  Noted (Geikie 1884, 140)
Earthwork Survey (1948):  Plan and description (RCAHMS 1956, 164-5, no.305, fig 191; RCAHMS RXD 123/1-2)
Other (1958):  Scheduled
Other (1979):  Surveyed at 1:10,000 by the OS
Other (1999):  Description by RCAHMS

Interior Features

Overlain by at least two later walled enclosures, the northern of which contains a single circular house platform

Water Source

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

Surface

Single platform within one of the later enclosures

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:   

Guard Chambers:  

Chevaux de Frise:  ✗  

Entrance 1 (Northwest):  Simple Gap:  Through the inner fort rampart and approached by a hollowed track
Entrance 1 (Northwest):  Hollow Way:  Through the outer fort rampart, where the combination of later enclosures and the hollowed trackway give the impression of an inturn

Enclosing Works

Inner and outer ramparts forming two separate circuits, the outer with an additional rampart on one flank

Enclosed Area 1:  0.13ha.
Enclosed Area 2:  0.6ha.
Enclosed Area 3:  
Enclosed Area 4:  
Total Enclosed Area:  0.6ha.

Total Footprint Area:  0.78ha.

Multi-period Enclosure System:  ✓  The minor enclosures on the NW clearly overlie the defences

Ramparts Form a Continuous Circuit:  ✓  

Number of Ramparts:  3

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

Annex

Annex:  ✗  

References

Geikie, J (1884) «List of hill forts, intrenched camps, etc. in Roxburghshire on the Scotch side of the Cheviots. Hist Berwickshire Natur Club 10 (1882_4) 139-44.

RCAHMS (1956) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of Roxburghshire: with the fourteenth report of the Commission, 2v. HMSO: Edinburgh

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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