NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun

taken 8 years ago, near to Milton, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 6 images, with title Dumbuie Dun in this square
Dumbuie Dun
Dumbuie Dun
This is NS4275 : Dumbowie Hill: south-eastern summit. This flat summit area is slightly hollow; a fact that, before excavations took place here, led to the surmise that it was an extinct volcano, with the summit forming the crater. In fact, the hill, which is composed of igneous rock, is indeed a volcanic plug, but the reason for the slightly raised rim of the summit is that the turf conceals a circular wall, which is 9 to 10 metres in diameter, and which is formed of flat sandstone slabs.

This wall enclosed an Iron Age fort. Its entrance was on the western side, and is apparent in this photograph as a dip in the line of the edge of the summit, near the left-hand edge of the picture; in this view, the shadows produced by the low sun make the dip more apparent. Aside from the circular wall itself, there are two terraces on the western side of the hill, which may be traces of additional enclosing ramparts: see NS4275 : Dumbowie Hill: upper terrace / NS4275 : Dumbowie Hill: lower terrace / NS4275 : Dumbowie Hill: lower terrace.

See NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun and NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun for views of the summit area from different angles. I later returned to obtain some equivalent but better wide-angle views: NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun and NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun.

The summit area was excavated by the Helensburgh Naturalist and Antiquarian Society in 1895; see NS4275 : Dumbuie Dun. A reproduction of a painting of the dun as it appeared during excavation, with the wall fully exposed, can be found in the journal "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland", Volume 30 (1895-96), pages 291 to 308. It is unfortunate that the bulk of the report is devoted to certain objects that were found during excavation; they were the subject of much controversy at the time, and they are now known to be fakes that were planted on the site while the dig was in progress (the culprit was never identified). A few years later (1898), the same Helensburgh society excavated at NS4173 : Dumbuck Crannog, and similar fake antiquities were found.
Dumbowie Hill
The hill originated as a volcanic plug on the edge of the Kilpatrick Hills plateau. The hill has two peaks (NW+SE); the south-eastern one has several terraces on its slopes, and the remains of an Iron Age fort, Dumbuie Dun, on top: see LinkExternal link (at Canmore) for archaeological details.
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Grid Square
NS4275, 76 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 16 November, 2011   (more nearby)
Saturday, 3 December, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Period (from Tags)
Iron Age 
Place (from Tags)
Dumbowie Hill 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4219 7516 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.6097N 4:31.7060W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4220 7517
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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Other Tags
Hill Fort  Archaeology 

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