Ancient Monuments

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Dun Knock, fort

A Scheduled Monument in Strathallan, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.3108 / 56°18'38"N

Longitude: -3.5801 / 3°34'48"W

OS Eastings: 302342

OS Northings: 714274

OS Grid: NO023142

Mapcode National: GBR 1S.6CNQ

Mapcode Global: WH5PJ.ZMBY

Entry Name: Dun Knock, fort

Scheduled Date: 16 August 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9434

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Dunning

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Strathallan

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a small multi-vallate fort of later prehistoric date. It is visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs and as upstanding banks within mature woodland.

The monument is located on the summit and the upper slopes of Dun Knock above 80m O.D. and extends southwards to enclose a second smaller hill that has also been occupied at some date. The northern part of the fort is revealed as crop-marks within in arable farmland, with a small extension into Dunning Park at the western extremity. The southern part of the fort and the whole of the second, smaller hill are under mature mixed woodland. At least 4 concentric ditches are visible as crop-marks.

Axially aligned breaks in the ditches on the NNW and NE sides may indicate the position of entranceways. Variation in the width of the ditches occurs both between the ditches and along the line of any one ditch and these variations, as well as the possible blocking of some points within the putative NNW entrance, indicate that several phases of defence are present.

The total depth of the defences range from 30m to 40m with the innermost line enclosing an area measuring 70m NE-SW by 40 m NW-SE. Within the interior of the fort, visible in the arable field, there are at least two cropmark discs and several rectangular marks. These may indicate the positions of round and rectangular structures. Within the woodland, quarrying for sand in the past has removed approximately 20% of the area of the fort but at least two lines of upstanding earthen bank are visible on the steep slopes below the summit.

The summit itself appears flattened. The second, smaller hill also appears artificially flattened and is in part enclosed by an earthwork. Low parallel, E-W trending ridges, possibly the relics of some more recent phase of agricultural or arboreal land-use, occupy the summit and northern slopes of this second hill and obscure the true nature of this part of the monument.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan with maximum dimensions of 245m NW-SE by 180m NE-SW, to include the summits of both hills and, in the woodland, all the area of the slopes and the flat ground between, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract. Within the open fields to the north, the area to be scheduled includes the concentric crop-marked features and an area around in which evidence relating to the use of the site may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

The above ground elements of all fences bounding or crossing the area to be scheduled and the areas previously quarried for sand are excluded from scheduling, as are the remains of the modern tank marked on the map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as well-preserved remains of a prehistoric defended site. Its importance is enhanced by the likelihood that this fort was the power centre or caput to the Pictish lordship recognised as the precursor of the historically known Thanage of Dunning. The second hill to the south may have served such a caput in some subsidiary capacity such as the lordship's council hall. The monument as a whole retains the very considerable potential to provide information about the evolution of the early Historic and medieval Scottish state.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 01 SW 18.

Aerial photographs used:

RCAHMS (1984) A65459.

RCAHMS (1986) A29473.


Driscoll, S. T. (1991) The archaeology of state formation in Scotland', in Hanson, W. S. & Slater, E. A. (eds) Scottish Archaeology New Perceptions. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 81-110.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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