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Hill of Christ's Kirk, fort

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.3356 / 57°20'8"N

Longitude: -2.6632 / 2°39'47"W

OS Eastings: 360170

OS Northings: 827428

OS Grid: NJ601274

Mapcode National: GBR M9SB.GN1

Mapcode Global: WH8NC.2W29

Entry Name: Hill of Christ's Kirk, fort

Scheduled Date: 13 December 2006

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11394

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Kennethmont

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Description

The monument comprises a fort of prehistoric date, visible as slight field remains and cropmarks on oblique aerial photographs. It is situated at the summit of the Hill of Christ's Kirk, 311m above sea level, and lies 750m north east of the remains of Christ's Kirk.

Overall the monument appears to consist of a complete sub-circular enclosure about 45m in diameter, defined by a palisade ditch, surrounded by three other palisade ditches, all of which are intermittently visible. The sub-circular ditch is well defined and where visible on the ground appears as a shallow ditch 0.25m deep. To the west of the enclosure is a 15m-long arc of palisade ditch, which may form part of another circuit. Beyond it are two oval palisades, about 10m apart, the outermost defining an area about 120m by 85m.

The lack of definition to the outer ditches and their abrupt end on the western slope has led to the suggestion that the sub-circular ditch is a possible earlier homestead and that the outer ditches are marker trenches for the layout of a hillfort that was never completed. Forts of this type are characteristic of the Iron Age. However, it is possible that the outer ditches are contemporary with the inner sub-circular ditch and that together they comprised a defended hill-top settlement with at least three palisades. This type of structure could be dated to the Bronze Age.

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 subcircular, measuring a maximum of 158 E-W by 135m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument's historical significance can be expressed under two headings:

Intrinsic characteristics: the monument is unexcavated and has considerable potential to enhance understanding of defended hilltop settlements in the Strathdon area.

Contextual characteristics: whether a palisaded enclosure or an unfinished hillfort the site is a rare example of a type known throughout Scotland and adds great value to hill top settlements in the region. It lies within a rich prehistoric landscape and is situated between to other defended prehistoric hilltops, the Hill of Dunnideer hillfort, 1.3km to the north-east, and the hill-top enclosure on the Hill of Newleslie, 2.75m to the south-west. This setting is integral to the understanding of the monument in its landscape.

National Importance: this monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of defended hill-top enclosures and settlements of the prehistoric period in North-East Scotland. The loss or damage of this monument would significantly diminish the capacity of the class to contribute to our understanding of prehistoric Scotland as well as the surrounding landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

The monument is recorded by RCAHMS as NJ62NW 21.

References:

RCAHMS 1963, STIRLINGSHIRE: AN INVENTORY OF THE ANCIENT MONUMENTS, Edinburgh: HMSO, Vol. 1, XXV.

Photographs:

AAS, 1988, NJ62NW 16, Hill of Christ's Kirk, AAS/88/04/S9/25.

AAS, 1988, NJ62NW 16, Hill of Christ's Kirk, HL 26.

AAS, 1988, NJ62NW 16, Hill of Christ's Kirk, HL 19.

AAS, 1996, NJ62NW 16, Hill of Christ's Kirk, AAS/96/04/CT/34.

AAS, 2000, NJ62NW 16, Hill of Christ's Kirk, AAS/00/02/G3/4.

Photographs from NMRS:

RCAHMS, 1998, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, D35924.

AAS, 1998, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, E81237 PO.

AAS, 1998, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, E81238 PO.

AAS, 1998, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, D82956/PO.

AAS, 1998, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, D82957/PO.

AAS, 2000, NJ62NW 21, Hill of Christ's Kirk, E94474 PO.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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