Ancient Monuments

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Craigmarloch Wood,fort

A Scheduled Monument in Inverclyde East, Inverclyde

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Latitude: 55.9112 / 55°54'40"N

Longitude: -4.6503 / 4°39'0"W

OS Eastings: 234444

OS Northings: 671854

OS Grid: NS344718

Mapcode National: GBR 38.0RXL

Mapcode Global: WH2MK.JPS7

Entry Name: Craigmarloch Wood,fort

Scheduled Date: 16 May 1986

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM4379

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill and promontory fort)

Location: Kilmacolm

County: Inverclyde

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde East

Traditional County: Renfrewshire


The site consists of a palisaded enclosure (not visible on the surface), within which a dense artifact rich occupation layer was found. This was superseded by a timber laced fort. The area enclosed by the palisade and rampart (and by two annexes, to the SW and NE, of unknown but probably Iron Age date) lies on top of a craggy hill at the 500' contour. An area 90m E-W and 80m N-S on the hill is proposed for scheduling. Visible on the surface are the main fort and enclosure and the annexes. The fort measures approximately 52m E-W and 30m N-S. Excavation has shown that the wall is 3m thick, with roughly built faces of undressed blocks; much information on the timber-lacing of the wall was recovered.

Below, and therefore predating the wall, was discovered a dense occupation layer, which produced large quantities of pottery and other finds. Outside the wall of the fort, at the NW end, a palisade bedding trench was discovered; this is a defensive feature enclosing the occupation layer. The complete course of the palisade is not known, but it is assumed that it enclosed an area similar to the fort.

To the SW and NE of the main enclosure are two walled annexes of irregular shape. The walls of both were sectioned. The SW wall proved to be of massive construction; the NE one showed construction techniques similar to the main wall. Both annexes are almost certainly associated with the fort.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The site is nationally important as a fine example of a lowland vitrified fort. It is important for the archaeological evidence sampled in the strictly limited 1960s excavations: the sequence of palisade to fort, the early and late dates, the large mass of well contexted Iron Age finds, and the details of rampart construction techniques. The bulk of the fort remains undug and modern excavation may reveal much more information. The site is important to the themes of prehistoric vitrified forts and palisaded settlements, prehistoric settlement and defence and prehistoric technology.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as NS 37 SW 8.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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