|Heading east from the Gardenstown crossroads on the B9031 take the first minor road south and then take the first farm track east which leads to the aptly named Highfield House. My plan was to get to Tore Lodge and climb up to the fort from the track.
This was going to prove impossible thanks to a sea of mud and a lot of water. There has been a lot of rain combined with melting snow causing these obstructions. The biggest problem is the lack of frost and low temperatures therefore the water just collects in hollows.
However a solution was at hand as the farmer kindly offered to drive me there in his land rover. This proved to an eventful journey thru deep water/mud/slush/ditches going north east until the ground firmed up almost due north of the fort. From here it was south into the forts interior.
On driving down to the fort there seems to be two un-natural mounds going across the full width of the fort. Looking at the aerial pictures it would seem that these are the remnants of ramparts. The ploughed section of the east side gives a give good indicator of were a wooden stockade once stood. Like nearby Strath Howe there are many small valleys so defences to the south, east and west came naturally enough. After a good look around the site, darkness aided by snow had started to fall. With that the atmosphere changed along with the colours of North East coast which indicated that it was time to go.
Yet another site on my doorstep. Yet another one I didn't know about until recently. Yet another site that needs another visit, preferably on a much warmer and drier day. Thanks to the people at Highfield House for their kindness. Much appreciated.
Posted by drewbhoy
4th February 2015ce
Edited 4th February 2015ce