The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Innes Bhuidhe

Promontory Fort


Killin is a lovely place to visit and the Falls of Dochart are simply wonderful. This is one of my favourite places in Britain and one I visit as often as I can – which in reality is once every couple of years!

However, until today, I didn't realise that this is also the site of a prehistoric enclosure!

There is a large free public car park and it is only a short walk to the old stone bridge which crosses the River Dochart. In the middle of the bridge is a metal gate which is locked. The key is available from the folklore Centre. This gives access to the island in the middle of river which is the burial ground of the Clan MacNab.

Although I have been meaning to have a look around the burial ground I have never got around to it but I am sure it would be interesting to have a look at the old headstones. The island is covered in trees.

It also turns out that this island was originally a prehistoric site.
CANMORE states: 'On Innis Bhuidhe, a long, narrow, island in the river Dochart, are the remains of a small promontory fort and an enclosure. The fort is formed by a ditch, with an inner rampart, cut across the island approximately 70m from its NE end. A modern path cuts across the centre of the ditch and has obliterated any traces of an entrance. The enclosure is roughly rectangular and measures80m x 26m. It is formed by an earthen bank best preserved at its NE and SW ends and has a maximum height of 2.2m' - 20.8.1969

'The monument comprises of the remains of two forts of prehistoric date surviving as a series of earthworks and occupies a long, narrow island in the River Dochart at around 110m OD to the Falls of Dochart' – 26.11.1996

On my next visit to Killin I will make a point of visiting this site.

There is one obvious question to ask – how exactly did they get on and off the island in prehistoric times? The river currents are very strong these days, perhaps they were different then? Or perhaps some sort of wooden walk way was constructed?
Posted by CARL
17th January 2012ce

Comments (2)

That's interesting. I have been to the falls a few times and like you I have never got the key and visited the island. Had a great week's holiday in Killin last year. The water was quite low at the falls and they were holding the Bob MacGregor Motorbike Trials on the rocks. Great to watch. thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th January 2012ce
I've been down to the burial ground a couple of times. The last time was three years ago (the gate wasn't locked). Like you I hadn't realised there was a fort there the first time I visited, however on my second visit I paid more attention. The bank and ditch of the fort is fairly substantial at points. However the island is quite heavily wooded and this kinda distorts the view and interpretation of what you can see.
I just assumed that the users of the island fort would utilise the fort in times of need only and simply cross the rocks when the river is low (which is much of the time) or use a rope or big tree trunk when the current was up. My companion on the day of that visit suggested that the fort was a very safe cattle enclosure and not a defensive "fort" structure.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
18th January 2012ce
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