|Type of record:||Monument|
|Name:||Fort, Knockfarrel, Dingwall|
|Feedback:||If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.|
|Grid Reference:||NH 50473 58505|
|Geographical Area:||ROSS AND CROMARTY|
- FORT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
|Protected Status:||Scheduled Monument 1672: Knock Farril, fort, Knockfarrel, Fodderty|
- Survival: EARTHWORK (undated)
- Survival: VISIBLE FEATURE (<1M (undated)
- Historic Environment Record: MHG7152
- NMRS NUMLINK Reference: 12782
- NMRS Record Details: NH55NW10 KNOCK FARRIL
- Old SMR Reference Number: NH55NW0010
NMRS notes: NH55NW 10 5045 5850.
Vitrified Fort (NR) OS 6" map, (1959)
A vitrified fort within remains of a probably earlier fort, on summit of Knock Farril, a ridge running NE-SW.
The vitrified fort (of enigmatic plan according to Feachem (1963)) is sub-rectangular on plan measuring c116m NE-SW by c30m within a heavily vitrified wall averaging c4.5m in thickness. No wall faces are evident. It is alleged (visited by OS (RD) 19 1 1965) that entrance is probably in SW but this cannot be established, although it is likely as this is easiest approach. Extending NE along spine of ridge from NE side of fort for a distance of c.25m is a vitrified wall which links fort with what appears to be sub rectangular vitrified enclosure measuring internally about 25m NE-SW ab 5.0m. Traces of a similar arrangement overlaid by a modern track exist at SW end of fort. Here vitrifaction can be seen extending for distance of c50m from fort and terminating on an area of turf-covered tumble on a knoll. Outer facing stones are visible for c8m about halfway along on SE side. These outworks probably represent "look-out posts" similar to that at An Torr (NM66NE) as they overlook NE and SW approaches, both out of sight of fort itself.
In SW half of the interior of fort is a mutilated cistern c5m in diameter. Close by to SW are what may be footings of a rectangular building c8m by c.5m with a sub-circular hollow c.7m in diameter on its NE side, although these could be due to quarrying. It is alleged (Visited by OS (RD) 19 1 1965) that there are 2 circular enclosures, one overlying fort wall in NE, and other outside it in SW, but both of these are recent mutilations. The fort is overlaid by 3 widely spaced ditches of uncertain date and purpose, running NW-SE across spine of ridge. Each has spoil thrown on to its SW rim, forming a slight rampart. The most NE ditch cuts through vitrified walling at SW side of NE "look-out post". An entrance gap c2m wide has been left midway, on spine of ridge, typical of entrance to a fort. The central ditch crosses NE part of fort cutting through vitrified wall in NW and SE. A gap in centre of rampart appears to be a mutilation as there is no corresponding causeway across ditch.
SW ditch cuts through vitrified walling on SE side of spine of ridge halfway along projecting wall at SW end of fort.
Outside are traces of another wall, not vitrified, which probably represents remains of an earlier fort robbed to build vitrified fort. Its course is marked along a change in slope on SE side of hill by a rickle of stones, which is most evident between SE extremity of central ditch and midway along SW ditch which cuts through it. Outer wall facing stones are visible intermittently for a distance of c27m. It can be traced to NE along same change in slope as far as NE ditch, and also to SW where it turns N around base of knoll occupied by SW "look-out post", from where there are indications that it continued towards NW corner of vitrified fort whose NW side probably overlies it.
Outside all defences in SW are remains of a curving wall which bars SW approach. There was probably a means of access around either end of this wall where it stops short of steeper slopes. Not vitrified & uncertain with which phase it is contemporary.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (A A) 1 December 1970.
The three ditches '...of uncertain date and purpose…' across the defences are the trenches excavated by labourers employed by John Williams in 1777. He was interested in vitrified forts and the letters he wrote to G.C.M. Esq were subsequently published. He mentions that he also had the labourers excavate two features which he subsequently thought to be wells as they filled with water. He also identified what he thought to be several round vitrified buildings in the interior. <1>
Desc + plan Inverness FC 1904 Vol VI, p288 <2>
No change. Visited by RCAHMS (J R S) March 1989.
Martin Hind, Countryside Ranger, concerned about erosion from trail bikes and motor vehicles.
See hyperlinked photos JW 4/12/00
Sub-rectangular in plan measuring 116m NE-SW x 30m NW-SE within a heavily vitrified wall averaging 4.5m in width. At NE and SW ends of fort are sub-rectangular vitrified enclosures that are linked to fort by vitrified walls c25m long. These have been identified as 'look-out posts' overlooking NE and SW approaches to fort. Inside SW half of fort are remains of a mutilated cistern 5m diameter.
Info from HS scheduling document dated 6 March 1997.
Scheduled Monument Management Plan, Received 04/04/01.
This was created by 'Forestry Enterprise' and authorised by HS (Scottish Ministers). See assoc. docs. File.
J Aitken : 19/04/01.
Photographs of this site were submitted to the HER in January 2011 by John Wombell. <3>
Headland Archaeology Ltd carried out a detailed topographic archaeological survey of the fort in June 2011. The survey was commissioned by the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) in order to provide a baseline record of the earthworks and surviving structural features of the fort. It will also inform conservation management and any future access and interpretation initiatives. A number of photographs of the fort were also taken. <4>
AP : (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG11740.
AP : (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG11741.
AP : (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG11742.
AP : Knock Farril from SW. (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG12523.
AP : Knock Farril. (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG12695.
Fort, Knock Farril, Strathpeffer (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9676.
Knock Farril, drill for T/L cores in position (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9511.
Knockfarrel (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8097.
Knockfarrel (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8105.
Knockfarrell, hill fort (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG8490.
Knockfarril, arriving for T/L sampling (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9522.
Knockfarril, core of vitrif. rampart (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9516.
Knockfarril, drill for T/L cores (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9523.
Knockfarril, drill forT/L cores (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9518.
Knockfarril, drill in position for taking samples (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9517.
Knockfarril, setting up drill (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG9510.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3785.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3786.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3787.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3788.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3789.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG3826.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4892.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4893.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4894.
Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG4895.
Lynn, J, 03/2008, Knock Farrel (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG23734.
Wallace, T, 1921, 'Archaeological notes', Trans Inverness Sci Soc Fld Club, Vol. 8 1912-18, p.87-136, 100-2 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG195.
Feachem, R W, 1963, A guide to prehistoric Scotland, 148-9 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2187.
MacKie, E W, 1975, Scotland: an archaeological guide: from the earliest times to the twelfth century, 212 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2472.
RCAHMS, 1979, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Easter Ross, Ross and Cromarty District, Highland Region, 22, No. 183 (Text/Report). SHG2670.
Ralston, I, 1984, 'Knock Farril (Fodderty p) fort', Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1984, p.15, 15 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1007.
PSAS, 1985, 'Donations to and purchases for the Museum and Library', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 114 1984, p.597-610, 540 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG602.
Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 139, No. 70 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.
Mackie, E W and Davis, A, 1991, 'New light on Neolithic rock carving. The petroglyphs at Greenland (Auchentorlie), Dumbartonshire', Glasgow Archaeol J, Vol 15 (1988-89), pp 125-155, 148 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1156.
<1> Williams, J, 1777, An account of some remarkable ancient ruins, lately discovered in the highlands and northern parts of Scotland: in a series of letters to G.C.M. Esq., 5-30 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2940.
<2> Fraser, J, 1910, 'Vitrified fort of Knockfarrel', Trans Inverness Sci Soc Fld Club Vol. 6 1899-1906, p.288-91, 288-91 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1806.
<3> Wombell, J, 2011, Photographs of various HER sites (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG25170.
<4> van Wessel, J., 2011, Knock Farril, Fodderty and Ord Hill, Knockbain: Topographical archaeological survey for Forestry Commission Scotland (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG25676.
Related Monument/Building records
|MHG45374||Parent of: Cistern - Knockfarrel fort, Dingwall (Monument)|
|EHG361||Topographical survey - Knock Farril, Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty (Ref:PFPT11)|
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