Ancient Monuments

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The Torr, fort, dun and enclosure, Shielfoot

A Scheduled Monument in Fort William and Ardnamurchan, Highland

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Latitude: 56.7643 / 56°45'51"N

Longitude: -5.8265 / 5°49'35"W

OS Eastings: 166240

OS Northings: 770174

OS Grid: NM662701

Mapcode National: GBR CBZV.5YD

Mapcode Global: WGZCJ.G7PQ

Entry Name: The Torr, fort, dun and enclosure, Shielfoot

Scheduled Date: 25 October 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM7800

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Ardnamurchan

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Fort William and Ardnamurchan

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises a fort of prehistoric date.

The monument lies on a prominent wooded ridge called The Torr, at around 70m OD. This ridge rises above a flat alluvial plain, and is a very conspicuous local landmark. The fort is of an irregular shape on plan, conforming to the contours of the ridge-top and measuring approximately 90m long by a maximum width of about 20m at its SSE end and by no more than about 4m wide at its NNW end.

It is defined by a heavily vitrified wall measuring up to 4.5m thick, which survives best at the N end of the SW side, where the outer wall face stands to a height of about 0.5m. A large section of the wall at the NE side has collapsed down the side of the ridge. Extending from the S end of the vitrified fort is a wall measuring between 2m and 4m wide and enclosing a sub-rectangular area measuring about 50m NNW-SSE by some 25m transversely.

Several stretches of the outer facing stones are visible, though the wall shows no sign of vitrification. The entrance gap, at the SSW, measures about 2m wide. Within the NNW end of the vitrified fort is an oval enclosure measuring approximately 7m by 6m, defined by a band of vitrified rubble measuring about 2.5m thick.

Although the chronological relationship between the three elements of the fort is unclear, forts such as this are characteristic of the Iron Age. Vitrification occurs when timber-laced ramparts are set on fire, producing temperatures high enough to fuse some of the rocks.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is irregular, measuring 160m NNW-SSE by 60m at its widest, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a fine example of an Iron Age fort in a very striking location. It has the potential to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric defended settlement and economy. This potential is enhanced by the multi-period nature of the remains, which offers the possibility of examining the evolution of defensive systems over time.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 67 SE 4.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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