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Kittock's Den, fort

A Scheduled Monument in East Neuk and Landward, Fife

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.3256 / 56°19'32"N

Longitude: -2.724 / 2°43'26"W

OS Eastings: 355322

OS Northings: 715035

OS Grid: NO553150

Mapcode National: GBR 2T.5KYW

Mapcode Global: WH7S7.483K

Entry Name: Kittock's Den, fort

Scheduled Date: 20 June 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10437

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: St Andrews and St Leonards

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: East Neuk and Landward

Traditional County: Fife

Description

The monument comprises a promontory fort overlooking St Andrews Bay, visible as upstanding remains. The fort is located between a deep coastal ravine known as Kittock's Den to the E and a 30m-high sea cliff to the NW. The fort defences have been incorporated into landscaping for the 18th green of Devlin golf course at St Andrews Bay Resort.

Monuments of this type normally date to the Iron Age (about 2000 years ago) or later. The field containing the fort used to be known as Castle Acre, which might indicate that the fort was in use as late as the medieval period.

Prior to development of the golf course (1998-2001), the fort defences consisted of a single massive rampart and external ditch, which cut off the landward (SW) side of the promontory. The rampart enclosed an area measuring c.87m NE-SW by 80m NW-SE, which sloped gently towards the NW and contained no surface traces of structures.

The rampart was c.30m wide, stood up to 1.5m high and ran over a length of 70m. The ditch survived as a shallow linear depression, c.25m wide. There may have been an entrance through the defences at the eastern end, where they terminate c.7m short of the ravine (a second gap at the western end of the defences is probably secondary).

During construction of the golf course, the enclosed area (NE of the rampart) was overlain with a 0.3m depth of topsoil, obscuring any remains. Three bunkers were constructed in the vicinity of the ditch. A concentration of stones, described as possibly the remains of dry-stone masonry associated with the ditch, was encountered during construction of the SE bunker, after which no further soil was removed.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan, with maximum dimensions of 134m NE-SW by 105m transversely, to include the remains of the outer ditch, the rampart and the area enclosed by the rampart, extending to the edges of the ground above the sea cliffs and Kittock's Den, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The top 0.3m of all grassed areas, tracks and bunkers associated with the golf course are excluded from the scheduling to allow for routine maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric and later defensive settlement in general, and of the construction and use of promontory forts in particular. It also has the potential to contribute to an understanding of contemporary society and economy.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NO 51 NE 1.

Reference:

Cook, M. (1998) An archaeological desk-based assessment and evaluation of a proposed golf course at Kingask Farm, St. Andrews, Fife: Data Structure Report.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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