|This site, on the summit of Tynron Doon, is basically a multivallate Iron Age fort with an Early Medieval (Dark Age) and Medieval occupation. The final phases include a (?) 16th century tower-house and an 18th-19th century shepherd's bothy.
The Iron Age structures must follow much the same basic plan as the present modified structure ie a central plot defended on the N,E and S by steep natural slopes. The W and NW approaches were defended by two main ramparts and three ditches; several of the ditches are rock-cut. Below the summit on the NE slopes there are prominent remains of a terrace cut into the slope; the terrace is defended by a small rampart but its use is unknown.
No details of the Dark Age occupation are available but presumably the Iron Age fort was merely utilised with few or no major changes. The occupation waste from this period lies below the large nettle patch on the SW slopes.
There is no positive evidence regarding structure changes on the site during the medieval period. It has been suggested that the hill-top might have been modified as a motte and the ditches re-cut some time around the late 12th or early 13th century in order to correspond with general practice elsewhere in the area.
The late medieval period is represented by the base plan of an L-shaped tower-house of (?) 16th century date, at the NW corner of the central plot. The remaining wall plan measures approximately 20 x 42 ft with an extension at the NW corner, 8 x 10 ft, which very probably represents the wheel-stair of the tower.
The structure was demolished some time around 1700-50. There are indications that the hill-top at this period was enclosed within a barmkin wall with a gateway at the SW corner of the tower.
Occupation during the 18th-19th century appears to be represented by a hut circle in the SE corner of the plot; this is very probably the remains of the shepherd's bothy built when the tower was removed to build Tynron Kirk.
Artifacts found either in 1924, or when sections were cut in 1964-7, are in Dumfries Museum. They include fragments of a bracteate pendant, dating to the late 7th-8th century; blue glass beads, fragments of bloomery waste, and vitrification. (Finds are fully listed and described by J Williams 1971).
RCAHMS 1920, visited 1912; L Laing 1975; W Wilson 1957
From the Royal Commission on the ancient and historical monuments of Scotland Database
Posted by ginger tt
1st February 2009ce
Edited 4th February 2009ce