Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Carman Fort, 930m ESE of Asker Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Leven, West Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 55.9803 / 55°58'49"N

Longitude: -4.6109 / 4°36'39"W

OS Eastings: 237193

OS Northings: 679446

OS Grid: NS371794

Mapcode National: GBR 0K.W83H

Mapcode Global: WH3NB.4YL9

Entry Name: Carman Fort, 930m ESE of Asker Farm

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1960

Last Amended: 16 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM717

Schedule Class: Cultural

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

Location: Bonhill

County: West Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Leven

Traditional County: Dunbartonshire


The monument is a fort dating to the Iron Age (between about 800 BC and 500 AD). It is visible as a series of earthworks defining an oval enclosure within a sub-circular outer enclosure and the remains of up to 15 roundhouses. The monument surmounts a relatively steep hill at about 240m above sea level with the River Clyde visible in the distance.

The outer defences measure approximately 145m north-south by 180m east-west and are defined by walls of turf and stone. They stand to an average height of 0.50m and are broken by two entrances on the west and southeast sides. On the eastern side of the enclosure the outer defences are defined by two banks and the area between these banks forms an annex to the outer enclosure. The inner enclosure lies in the northern part of the enclosed area and occupies the highest part of the hill. It is oval in plan, measures about 40m north-south by 55m transversely, and is defined by turf-covered stone walls standing to a height of approximately 0.80m with an entrance gap on the southwest and a possible second entrance on the southeast. The remains of 12 to 15 roundhouse are visible within both the outer and inner enclosures.

The scheduled area is irregular 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 stone dyke that runs northwest-southeast across the monument. The monument was first scheduled in 1961, but the documentation does not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it can make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Iron Age settlement, society, economy and domestic life in central Scotland. It is a well-preserved example of a substantial fort that retains its field characteristics and which may have had an extended development sequence. In addition to the visible remains, there is significant potential for the preservation of buried deposits, features and structures relating to its construction and use. The monument can therefore expand our understanding of later prehistoric settlement, particularly the design and development of settlement types in central Scotland. Its importance is enhanced by its close proximity to Dumbarton Castle, a comparably sized fort indicating a chronological or hierarchical relationship. The loss or damage of the monument would diminish our ability to appreciate and understand the date, distribution and character of later prehistoric settlements in central Scotland, as well as society and economy during this period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 42357 (accessed on 14/03/2016).

The West of Scotland Historic Environment Record Reference is WoSAS Pin 6926 (accessed on 14/03/2016).

Alcock, L and Alcock, E A 1991 'Reconnaissance excavations on Early Historic fortifications and other royal sites in Scotland, 1974-84: 4, excavations at Alt Clut, Clyde Rock, Strathclyde, 1974-75', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, 120, 101-3

Feachem, R W 1966 'The hill-forts of northern Britain', in Rivet, A L F The iron age in northern Britain Edinburgh, 83-4

RCAHMS 1950-9 Marginal Land Survey (unpublished typescripts). 3v. Typescripts

RCAHMS 1957 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. An inventory of the ancient and historical monuments of Selkirkshire with the fifteenth report of the Commission, Edinburgh


HER/SMR Reference

WoSAS Site ID 6926

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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