Ancient Monuments

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Kinpurney Hill, fort

A Scheduled Monument in Kirriemuir and Dean, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5628 / 56°33'45"N

Longitude: -3.1036 / 3°6'12"W

OS Eastings: 332272

OS Northings: 741746

OS Grid: NO322417

Mapcode National: GBR VG.DH0T

Mapcode Global: WH6PR.99BR

Entry Name: Kinpurney Hill, fort

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1972

Last Amended: 30 January 2015

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM3219

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Newtyle

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Kirriemuir and Dean

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is the remains of a hillfort, dating probably to the Iron Age (between about 800 BC and 500 AD). It comprises a single rampart and ditch enclosing a sub-oval area of 6.6ha on the summit of Kinpurney Hill. The rampart and ditch are visible for most of the circuit, except on the S side where there is a natural steep slope, and in the W where there is a break for the single entrance. The rampart stands up to 2m high maximum, but is generally much lower, and the ditch is visible as a narrow terrace. A roofless tower, built in 1774 and used as an observatory, stands within the fort interior. The monument is situated on top of Kinpurney Hill, which forms part of the Sidlaw Hills, at around 345m above sea level. The site has extensive views in all directions and is prominent in the surrounding landscape. The monument was first scheduled in 1972, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The scheduled area is roughly oval on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above-ground elements of the Ordnance Survey trig point, the modern stone viewing point and the wooden fence surrounding the viewing point. The scheduling specifically includes the remains of the 18th-century observatory tower.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to make a significant addition to our knowledge and understanding of later prehistoric settlement in Scotland, specifically defensive sites. In addition to the visible remains of the rampart and ditch, the site has good potential to preserve important buried deposits, features and structures relating to its construction and use, which could enhance our understanding of Iron Age settlement, society and economy. The site is of particular interest as a possibly unfinished fort, which means that it could provide a rare insight into the construction of hillforts. The monument also offers high potential to compare different settlement types, particularly in contrast to the much more common types of prehistoric settlement on lower-lying agricultural land in Angus, which are normally now visible only as cropmarks. The presence of the 18th-century observatory tower on the hilltop adds an interesting facet to the history of the site. Our understanding of the date, distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements in eastern Scotland would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The monument is recorded by the RCAHMS as NO34SW 7 and by the Angus Sites and Monuments Record as NO34SW0007.


Feachem, R W 1966, 'The hill-forts of northern Britain', in Rivet, A L F The Iron Age in Northern Britain, 70.

RCAHMS 1963, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Stirlingshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments, 2v, Edinburgh, xxv.

RCAHMS 1983, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Central Angus, Angus District, Tayside Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 18, Edinburgh, 26, no 204.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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