MHG11506 - The Tulloch, fortified enclosure 177m NE of Langdale


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Type and Period (1)

  • RINGWORK (Early Medieval to Medieval - 561 AD to 1559 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Fortified Enclosure, Syre: At Syre, on E side of road, and quite close to it is a small fortified enclosure, locally known as 'General Leslie's Fort'. It is circular in form and is defended on W by a ditch 36ft across and 3ft deep below the natural level.The bank of the enclosure is 9ft to 10ft high on the west and has been surmounted by a drystone wall some 15ft thick. The height of the bank towards the interior is about 5ft, the interior is some 52ft in diameter. There has been an entrance by a causeway across the ditch on the south side, and apparently another on NE flanked by a wall. The rampart is gone from E side where a stone wall is being built from its material; and as the interior of the fort is under cultivation what remains of the construction is in danger of demolition. The ditch has not been continued around the NE side.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The fortified enclosure as described by the RCAHMS is located at NC 6973 4495 in pasture on edge of river terrace W of the Naver, about 4m above the valley floor. It is known locally as 'The Tulloch", the name 'General Leslie's Fort' is unknown. The interior has been cultivated and the bank has been largely destroyed in east arc (RCAHMS refers). The gap in NE arc has been widened but probably marks position of original entrance; there is no gap in rampart corresponding with causeway across ditch in SW arc, which suggests probably that the defences were to some extent rebuilt at a later phase (but before modern wall occupying summit of rampart). Exposed in inner slope of the turf-covered bank in W arc are three or four boulders on edge which appear to be the remains of an inner retaining wall. A 'Druidical Temple' at Langdale, 100ft diameter surrounded by a bank and trench with a standing stone in the centre, is mentioned in 1802-10 (Cooke 1810) and may refer to this enclosure, but the dimensions are incorrect and there is no trace and no local knowledge of a standing stone (See NC64SE 31). The date of work is uncertain, but size of bank and ditch, and manner in which limited natural defences are utilised leave little doubt that it is defensive. It is similar in some respects to defensive earthwork at Borgie (NC65NE 1), and to a lesser extent work by Skail (NC74NW 14), which resemble bank and ditch outworks commonly found in association with brochs. (See also NC74NW 3 and NC75SW 9). However topographic situation close to valley floor would be highly unusual for a broch. Both position and form resemble a Medieval ringwork, but is conceivable that this work and that a Borgie may be of an as yet unrecognised category of monuments.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
G A Cooke 1810; Visited by OS (N K B) 19 December 1978.

Scheduled 1/2003 - HAW 11/2003

A topographic survey of the earthwork was undertaken by Glasgow University (GUARD) in 2007 as part of the Strathnaver Province Archaeology Project. The survey was carried out using a total station EDM and produced a contour model of the enclosureand its immediate surroundings. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NC 6973 4494 (140m by 140m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC64SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

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