NS5181 : Summit of Quinlochmore

taken 10 years ago, near to Dumgoyne, Stirling, Great Britain

This is 1 of 3 images, with title Summit of Quinlochmore in this square
Summit of Quinlochmore
Summit of Quinlochmore
For another contributor's earlier photograph of the summit area, see NS5181 : Summit of Quinlochmore. For a view of the hill from a distance, see NS5181 : Quinlochmore.

The remains of a fort can be seen at the summit. I did not see any exposed stone here, but it is nevertheless possible to discern the form of the fort when on the hilltop: the summit is a flat area with a well-defined edge, corresponding to the outline of the fort (see NS5181 : Summit of Quinlochmore), and there is a dip in that edge at the north-western side, which is thought to correspond to an entrance.

The archaeological report (see the end-note) does not indicate the time period in which the fort was constructed; what little is exposed to view does not allow for it to be dated very precisely. However, such hill-forts generally originated in the first-millennium BC (mostly in the Iron Age, although a few particularly large examples appear to have had their beginnings in the late Bronze Age see the work cited below).

It was once thought that vitrified forts (forts where extreme heat has melted and fused the stone) were the result of timber-laced stone ramparts being set alight by the occupants (in order to strengthen the walls), or by enemies.

However, as noted by Ian Armit in "Celtic Scotland" (2005), neither explanation is satisfactory: it turns out that vitrification would weaken rather than strengthen a wall, and that a casual fire started in battle would not be sufficient to cause vitrification. Instead, "experiments have shown that only deliberately maintained fires, demanding perseverance and copious quantities of fuel, could have produced the right conditions unless the wall was tinder-dry. Vitrification was thus not simply a by-product of war, but rather a premeditated act of intense symbolic power as the seats of a warrior aristocracy were permanently and spectacularly razed".
Quinlochmore Fort

The remains of a vitrified fort on the summit of Quinlochmore. See LinkExternal link (at Canmore) for details. The site is legally protected as a scheduled monument.

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NS5181, 20 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 30 June, 2011   (more nearby)
Saturday, 9 July, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5149 8133 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:0.1108N 4:22.9845W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 5150 8135
View Direction
South-southwest (about 202 degrees)
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Other Tags
Archaeology  Hill Fort 

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