Aberdeenshire SMR - NJ42NE0001 - TAP O'NOTH FORT

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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ42NE0001
NameTAP O'NOTH FORT
NRHE Card No.NJ42NE1
NRHE Numlink 17169
HES SM No. 63
HES LB No.
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Complete 2
Details Remains of an impressive hillfort. At 563m above sea level this is the second highest in Scotland after Griam Beg in Sutherland. Two defensive episodes have been identified. The larger, and possibly earlier, lower enclosure covers a massive 21 hectares with an outwork, a stony wall with a core of boulders, running round the break of slope on all but the steeper SE side. At least 234 platform sites within this enclosure, as well as substantial tracks. The platforms are most numerous on NE and NW sides with a few larger ones on the more southerly slopes. Some of these may be quarries, at least near the upper fort. Three glass beads, 3 Roman sherds and a bronze terret were found near this lower enclosure. The upper fort consists of a massive stone wall, 6-8m wide and up to 3.5m high, that has been vitrified extremely heavily in places, enclosing a rectangular area. A large cistern in the interior is circa 2.2m deep. In 1997, within the upper fort, traces of a previously unrecorded enclosure formed by two concentric banks with a ditch were noted. The banks are circa 2m wide by 0.5m high with ditch circa 2m wide. The bank to the east appears to run under the vitrified fort wall. Also two possible hut circles lie within the northern part of the later upper fort, circa 8m and 5m in diameter respectively. In 1886 MacDonald excavated a section of the upper fort's wall but did not find anything. Aerial laser scanning of the fort was carried out in 2015.
Last Update16/08/2017
Updated Bynackerman
Compiler 
Date of Compilation20/05/1985

Easting: 348489.356722676, Northing: 829315.303404909

Google Map for NJ42NE0001

National Grid Reference: NJ 4848 2931



Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
1886 Excavation
1983 Excavation
1997 Field Survey

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
 1886  MACDONALD   
 1983  IBM RALSTONAUSDD 
 1997  Richard StrachanCFA  

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
   GLASS BEADS Stray Find  
   BRONZE TERRET Stray Find  
   ROMAN POTTERY Stray Find  

Ecofact

Samples Vitrified rock from main enclosure.
Palynology
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability
ENCLOSURES REMAINS OFA100
FORTSHILLVITRIFIEDB100
RAMPARTSTIMBER-LACED C100
WALLSSTONE D100
CISTERNS  E100
HUT-PLATFORMS  F100
PLATFORMSQUARRY G100
TRACKWAYS  H100
BEADSGLASS I100
POTTERY  J100
TERRETSBRONZE K100
HUT-CIRCLES REMAINS OFL95