Ancient Monuments

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Saline Hill, fort 1280m south east of Sheardrum

A Scheduled Monument in West Fife and Coastal Villages, Fife

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Latitude: 56.1233 / 56°7'24"N

Longitude: -3.5413 / 3°32'28"W

OS Eastings: 304281

OS Northings: 693359

OS Grid: NT042933

Mapcode National: GBR 1V.L8D3

Mapcode Global: WH5QJ.KCX3

Entry Name: Saline Hill, fort 1280m SE of Sheardrum

Scheduled Date: 2 August 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM8540

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Saline

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: West Fife and Coastal Villages

Traditional County: Fife


The monument comprises a hill fort of late prehistoric date, visible as upstanding remains.

The monument lies in an area of rough grassland, and occupies a prominent rocky knoll known as 'Easter Cairn' which forms part of the summit of Saline Hill at a height of around 350m OD. It is roughly oval in form, and measures approximately 100m in extent from E - W by 70m transversely.

Its outer limits are defined by a rampart which can be traced around much of the extent of the hill, with the exception only of the NW, where the presence of sheer rock faces has probably removed the need for artificial defences.

This outer rampart survives as a scarp, which in its better preserved stretches reaches a maximum height of 1.8m. In places, the scarp is accompanied by a ditch and a counterscarp bank, and there is an entrance on the ESE. Within the area defined by this rampart, traces of an inner enclosure can be identified. This is defined by a low scarp, and encloses an area measuring roughly 20m from E-W by 19m transversely.

The monument represents the remains of a hilltop defended settlement site or hill fort dating to the late Bronze Age or the Iron Age.

The area to be scheduled is a square measuring 110m on all sides, to include the defences of the fort, its interior and an area of ground outwith the ramparts in which evidence realting to its construction and use may survive, as marked in red upon the attached map.

The above-ground elements of the stone wall that marks the E edge of the scheduled area and the stone wall that traverses the southern part of the scheduled area are excluded from this scheduling, to allow their maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the remains of a small prehistoric fortification which has the potential to provide important information about the construction and use of the defences and of the use of both the area enclosed and the immediate environs of the fort. The ditch is likely to contain particularly important deposits with a high potential for good preservation of organic materials relating to the use and abandonment of the fort.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NT 09 SW 4.

Aerial Photographs used:

RCAHMS (1981) F/8578.

RCAHMS (1981) F/8579.

RCAHMS (1987) F/8783.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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