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Montrose's Camp, earthwork

A Scheduled Monument in Turriff and District, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.4433 / 57°26'35"N

Longitude: -2.3828 / 2°22'57"W

OS Eastings: 377122

OS Northings: 839286

OS Grid: NJ771392

Mapcode National: GBR N9G1.R3L

Mapcode Global: WH8N3.C5LQ

Entry Name: Montrose's Camp, earthwork

Scheduled Date: 8 September 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10844

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: camp

Location: Fyvie

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Turriff and District

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument consists of an area of ground containing the remains of a network of defensive ditches associated with an entrenched camp and static positions prepared in advance of the engagement between James Graham, Marquis of Montrose and the Covenanting forces under the Earl of Argyll on the 24 October 1664.

The engagement arose after Montrose won spectacular victories over Covenanting forces at Tippermuir and Aberdeen. Having marched from Huntly to Fyvie, Montrose's depleted army was caught at Fyvie Castle by a larger Covenanting force under Argyll.

Rather than become besieged within the castle, Montrose deployed his troops on rising ground to the east of the castle and trenches were dug to improve the defensive position. Despite a series of attacks by Covenanting troops, Montrose's defensive position, improved by the construction of the trenches, proved to be too strong and Argyll withdrew, allowing Montrose to slip away to Turriff.

The surviving earthwork, still known as Montrose's Camp, is Y-shaped and runs roughly N-S across the slope of the hill for some 275m, although the trench system is likely to have been originally considerably greater in extent. The ditch averages 5m in width and 1.5m deep towards the S end where it is still well-preserved. There is no trace of an upcast bank. The two northern portions have suffered from afforestation and are in poor condition.

The area to be scheduled includes the remains of the trench network and a small area around them, in which associated remains could be expected to survive. The scheduled area is Y-shaped and has maximum dimensions of 285m NNE-SSW and an average width of about 20m. The top 30cm of the trackway encroaching onto the scheduled area is excluded from the scheduling to allow essential maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as the material remains of Montrose's campaign, one of the most extraordinary military episodes in Scottish history and one that foreshadowed future rebellions in Scotland. Montrose's 'year of miracles', during which he had a string of spectacular victories over the Convenanting forces led by the Earl of Argyll and which was to end disastrously at Philiphaugh, has left almost no material remains. The trench network at Fyvie, although poorly preserved in places, is the exception.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NJ73NE 10.

References:

Sadler J (1996) SCOTTISH BATTLES, Canongate.

Simpson W D (1939) 'Fyvie Castle', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 73, 1938-9, 35.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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