Ancient Monuments

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Maiden Castle, fort 700m ESE of East Seaton

A Scheduled Monument in Arbroath East and Lunan, Angus

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Latitude: 56.5691 / 56°34'8"N

Longitude: -2.5404 / 2°32'25"W

OS Eastings: 366890

OS Northings: 742035

OS Grid: NO668420

Mapcode National: GBR VW.W1ZD

Mapcode Global: WH8S8.Y4GW

Entry Name: Maiden Castle, fort 700m ESE of East Seaton

Scheduled Date: 30 December 1969

Last Amended: 5 March 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2872

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Arbroath and St Vigeans

County: Angus

Electoral Ward: Arbroath East and Lunan

Traditional County: Angus


The monument is the remains of a promontory fort, a later prehistoric defended settlement, dating probably to the Iron Age (between about 100 BC and 700 AD). It survives as a single massive earthen rampart with an outer ditch aligned NNW-SSE, which together cut off the promontory and defend the landward approach to the fort. The monument is situated on the coast at around 30m above sea level and is surrounded by steep cliffs on all but its SW side. The monument was first scheduled in 1969, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

The rampart measures approximately 37m long and stands up to 4.3m high on the seaward side and 7.3m high on the landward side. It sits on the edge of a natural gully, probably enhanced during construction of the rampart, which forms an outer ditch measuring 6m wide. There is a narrow terrace some 2.5m wide at the southern end of the rampart, which appears to have formed an entranceway through the defences and on to the promontory. The ground surface in the fort interior is relatively flat and appears featureless, although it is obscured by vegetation.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan and includes 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 scheduled area extends up to, but does not include, the boundary fence on the SW side. The scheduling also excludes the upper 30cm of the coastal path and the concrete coastguard posts to allow for their maintenance.

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, society and economy in Scotland. It has the potential to add to our understanding of the construction, form and function of promontory forts, a relatively poorly understood class of monument. The monument retains its field characteristics to a marked degree, most notably its massive earthen rampart and accompanying ditch, which make it a particularly impressive example of its class. The fort appears to be undisturbed, suggesting there is high potential for the survival of important archaeological deposits and features. Maiden Castle is of particular interest because it is one of six, possibly associated, promontory forts situated along the stretch of coast between Arbroath and Lunan Bay. It offers high potential to compare changes in settlement form and character over time, particularly in contrast to the more common types of later prehistoric settlement in Angus which are mainly visible as cropmarks in lower-lying agricultural land. Our understanding of the distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements and defended sites would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland



The RCAHMS record the monument as NO64SE 2. The Angus Sites and Monuments Record reference for the monument is NO64SE000 2.

ReferencesChristison, D 1900, 'The forts, "camps", and other field-works of Perth, Forfar and Kincardine', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 34, 59.

Coutts, H 1970, Ancient monuments of Tayside, Dundee, 29. Wilson, E M 1981, 'Excavations at West Mains of Ethie, Angus', Proc Soc Antiq Scot 110, 114.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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