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The Cashtal Promontory Fort

Period: Iron Age - Early Mediaeval

NGR Easting: 242710

NGR Northing: 481690

Description: This small inland promontory overlooking the Glen Gawne or Garwick stream is crowned by a ruinous rectilinear structure which was visible at the time of the Ordnance Survey in the late 1860s, and orientated SW-NE.

The site was investigated by Gerhard Bersu in 1941. Excavation revealed the remains of two superimposed rectilinear structures: the first measured 11 by 5.6m, and was defined by a small number of surviving postholes, which suggested a wholly wooden structure to the excavator. This building appeared to have burnt down.

The second structure was built over the first and extended slightly further to the NE, so that it measured approximately 13m in length, and required the building up of the ground level at this end of the promontory in order to accommodate it. The structure was defined by well-built walls faced in stone with an earth core. The interior was marked by four parallel but discontinuous rows of postholes aligned along the long axis of the building. It would appear that they were meant to support a roof structure. No datable artefacts were recovered.

Having initially postulated that the building might have represented a secure or even defensible granary, Bersu later changed his mind and thought that it represented a dwelling; following Bersu's death, Marshall Cubbon excused the lack of an obvious hearth by suggesting that it might have been set on bedrock already reddened by the destruction of the original building.

View map location on Archaeology Data Service

Site & Monument Type: promontory fort

Category: National Monuments Record: Statutory Ancient Monuments

Site ID number: 0664.00

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