MHG8746 - Promontory Fort, Castledownie


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • DUN? (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) CASTLE? (Medieval - 1058 AD? to 1559 AD?)
  • (Alternate Type) PROMONTORY FORT? (Early Bronze Age to Pictish - 2400 BC? to 900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH76SE 4 7788 6400.
Castledownie (NR) (Site of) Rampart (NR) OS 6" map, (1959)

The site of this castle, traces of which remained in 1871, and of which nothing is known, occupies a very strong position, defended naturally on N and E and by an earthen rampart on S and W. The rampart stood to a height of 4' on the outside and 3' on inside in 1871, but when Woodham visited site only fragmentary remains survived and castle site was obscured by undergrowth and fallen trees.
Name Book 1871; A A Woodham 1856

Castledownie, a heavily mutilated defensive structure overgrown with trees and bracken, is in too poor a state to classify. There is no trace of a medieval castle as suggested by ONB (1871) and pecked rectangle published on OS 6", and a more likely explanation is that it was a dun with outworks.
It is situated on a spur, and is protected naturally by slopes in NW and SE, and by a shallow gully in SW. In NE the spur continues as a knife-edged ridge. The only artificial features surviving are two ramparts, one in SW along inner edge of gully, and the other partly crossing the spur in NE, which together with the natural slopes in SE and the possibly partly artificially scarped slopes in the NW, enclose a sub-rectangular area measuring c. 30m NW-SE by 17m. The 1959 OS 6" map shows the SW rampart continuing along the top of the slopes in the NW but this is no longer evident. Within the enclosed area is a knoll, probably natural, which is quarried from the SW and crossed on its NE arc by NE rampart. Several boulders, few of them earthfast, lie about interior making no intelligible pattern. There is a gap nea centre of SW rampart, and also at its SE extremity where it stops short of the natural slopes, either of which could be an entrance.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (A A) 12 December 1970

This has been a desk assessment area.
J Wordsworth, SSSIs, Scottish Natural Heritage, 1993

This site was included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <1>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NH 7787 6400 (80m by 80m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH76SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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