Ancient Monuments

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Maiden Castle, motte

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopbriggs North and Campsie, East Dunbartonshire

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Latitude: 55.9801 / 55°58'48"N

Longitude: -4.1763 / 4°10'34"W

OS Eastings: 264308

OS Northings: 678486

OS Grid: NS643784

Mapcode National: GBR 12.W9R9

Mapcode Global: WH4PN.TYHF

Entry Name: Maiden Castle, motte

Scheduled Date: 17 July 1959

Last Amended: 19 September 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1750

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: motte

Location: Campsie

County: East Dunbartonshire

Electoral Ward: Bishopbriggs North and Campsie

Traditional County: Stirlingshire


The monument comprises the earthwork remains of a castle likely to date from the 12th or 13th centuries AD. The monument is visible as a natural but altered knoll (the motte) surrounded on its north, west and south sides by earthworks. The monument is located on the lower slopes of the Campsie Fells at about 250m above sea level.

The summit of motte would have originally been roughly circular in plan but an adjacent water course has eroded the eastern portion of the monument. It stands up to 5m in height with a flat summit measuring 16m north-south by 10m transversely. The motte is positioned in the southern part of a roughly oval enclosure, measuring about 48m north-south by 25m transversely, within earth and stone banks surviving to a maximum height of 0.6m. To the north of the motte, several banks and mounds lie within the enclosure, the inner bank measuring up to 2.5m in height.

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 scheduling specifically excludes the existing water tank and pipe. The monument was last scheduled in 1959 but the documentation did not include an adequate area; the present scheduling rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to the understanding of the past, in particular the dating, construction and function of medieval castles. The monument retains its field characteristics and is a reasonably well-preserved example of its class, with little sign of disturbance other than natural erosion from the nearby burn. Comparison with other excavated examples suggests that we can expect evidence for internal buildings and perimeter defences to survive. The complexity of the outer defences, which may indicate the reuse of an earlier fortified site, adds to the monument's importance. The monument's significance is also enhanced by its location in relatively close proximity to other mottes along the Kelvin Valley. This can enhance our knowledge of the distribution and chronology of medieval fortified earthworks in this area. The loss of this motte would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand medieval castles, settlement and land tenure in medieval Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 465177(accessed 30/03/2016).

RCAHMS 1963 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Stirlingshire: an inventory of the ancient monuments, 2v Edinburgh 174, 183

RCAHMS 1982 The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. The archaeological sites and monuments of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District and Strathkelvin District, Strathclyde Region, The archaeological sites and monuments of Scotland series no 2. Revision Edinburgh


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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