Canmore Site 41986: HARPERCROFT - DUNDONALD (KYLE AND CARRICK) - FORT (PERIOD UNASSIGNED)
|Other Name(s)||WARDLAW HILL|
|Site Number||NS33SE 6|
|Broad Class||MONUMENT (BY FORM), DEFENCE, DOMESTIC|
|Site Type(s)||FORT (PERIOD UNASSIGNED)|
|NGR||NS 3600 3252|
|NGR accuracy||NGR given to the nearest 10m|
|Local Authority||SOUTH AYRSHIRE|
|Parish||DUNDONALD (KYLE AND CARRICK)|
NS33SE 6 3600 3252. (NS 3600 3252) Fort (NR) OS 6" map (1967) This fort, crowning a subsidiary summit of the Dundonald range, consists of an inner ring, formed by a ruinous stone wall about 300ft in diameter, with a second wall some 300ft outside it. Both are now low, stony banks spread to a maximum width of about 20ft. The plan is unusual if one period only is, as seems probable, represented, but it is comparable with that at Carwinning (NS25SE 6). An unfinished oval quern stone from here is in the NMAS (Acc No: BB 125). R W Feachem 1963; D Christison 1893; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1958 A large circular earthwork measuring some 100m in diameter, and which is in the form of a flattish area on top of the hill bounded by the course of a stone wall, 0.7m wide and 0.3m high, on top of a scarped terrace. This 'terrace' averages 1.7m in height and is composed of earth and stone. The earthwork is mutilated by radar installations; it is similar, but larger, in character to that a few hundred metres N of it (NS33SE 5). It has not the characteristics of a hill fort, but more of a settlement. Visited by OS (JLD) 28 May 1954 A 'citadel' fort or minor oppida, occupying an entire summit plateau, at about 145m OD, comprises an inner fort or settlement on the highest point of the plateau, and at an average distance of about 100m, an outer defensive circuit. The inner work measures some 105m E-W by 90m transversely within a collapsed stone-built rampart mostly showing as a scarp up to 1.6m high. The rampart has been severely mutilated around the N side, where there may have been an entrance; and a roadway has been cut through the E side. A ruined wall of later date follows the top of the rampart around the W half of the fort. The interior is occupied by buildings of a transmitter station within an enclosure fence; what may be part of an original internal division on the E side (see Christison's plan) has been cut by this detail. The outer work, of similar construction, follows the natural crest of the plateau and measures some 320m E-W by 260m transversely (about 6 hectares - 15 acres). It utilizes steep natural scarps around the N and W but around the S a stony rampart with an outer scarp up to 1.5m high survives. On all bu the W side the rampart scarps are topped with a continuous dry stone dyke. The undulating interior has been heavily cultivated and is featureless, as is a lower terrace area to the E of the fort (area NS 363 325) where RAF APs (F21/58/2712: 0070-1, flown 1959) possibly indicate the former vestiges of a rectangular field system. Also of possible significance is an old bank scarp which extends eastwards away from the fort rampart at about NS 3621 3247. The form of this work differs in many aspects from its suggested parallel at Carwinningm, and a closer comparison may be Carman (NS37NE 2) and possibly Bowden Hill (NS97SE 1). Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (JRL) 4 May 1982 A watching brief was undertaken during the laying of communications cables, within an existing trench, to the radio-mast station on the summit of the hill. The re-excavated trench ran directly W to E and crossed both the inner and outer rampart, although their was a large quantity of boulders downslope, possibly representing rampart tumble. At that inner rampart that upper part of a possible stone faced wall with a rubble core(1.6m wide) was uncovered. The trench did not penetrate the lower levels of the rampart. No artefacts were recovered. Sponsor: Mercury Communications Limited. CFA 1992
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