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Arbory Hill

Arbory Hill (grid ref 944238) is one of the most impressive Iron Age forts inSouthern Scotland. 

 

The fort is on the summit of the hill at an elevation of 1407 feet and is roughly a twenty minute to half an hour walk from the road.

 

The position of the fort is important.  It is located near the border of two tribes of Iron AgeScotland– the Damnonii and the Selgovae.  This explains the presence of two ditches , two ramparts and a circular stone wall.  The stone wall would be contained within a wooden framework since there was no cement.  This type of construction is called a Murus Gallicus or Gallic Wall.  This type of wall is described in Julius Caesar’s book on the Gallic Wars c.605C. 

 

Since there has been no proper archaeological excavation on the summit of Arbory Hill it is impossible to give an accurate date for the different phases of the fort.  It could be that the fortification goes back to the Bronze Age or even the Neolithic.  Equally it is possible that this fort was occupied after the Romans left as forts with a strong stone wall like Arbory share features found in forts inIreland belonging to the Dark Ages.

 

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