|Site visit 25 July 2011.
I parked in the lay-by 100 yards South-East of Carlsuith Castle on the A75. It was 6.30 am and I'd decided to rise early and get this done before breakfast. I was in need of some fresh air and a walk to shake off the night before - I'd had a few jars at the Ellangowan Hotel in Creetown (that's the pub/ hotel in The Wicker Man for any fans out there).
I headed up through Birk's Wood roughshod until I hit a wee path which took me to the right. I had to cross a wee burn and climb a dyke and fence at the edge of the wood before making my way up the edge of a field to the track which takes you up to the fort.
There is a stone standing on a wee knoll at the edge of the wood in the corner of the field. Unrecorded - but it's there. Nice shape and 1m high. The track up to the fort is very good. Ten minutes easy walking to the fort. The view is pretty spectacular. The Isle of Man with Snaefell and its neighbours loomed up out of a hazy Solway. Across the bay Wigtown and Garlieston lay snoozing. Early morning ferry traffic headed along the A75 to Stranraer far below.
The final approach to the fort is through a very narrow defile with sheer rock faces on either side. Then through a little metal gate and you are there. The fort itself is really a steep hill with rocky cliffs protecting three sides and a steep basnk on the other. Little of any ramparts are left, just the odd bit of banking and the faint trace of a ditch on the North and North-East side. There is a large stone set at one side of the entrance like a doorstop.
Don't visit here for impressive ditches or intact drystane ramparts. They simply aren't here. The defences seem to have been mostly natural cliffs augmented by man on the vulnerable North side of the fort. Little of the hand of man remains here. But do visit this site for the panorama. The fort is only about 600 feet up but it's like the top of the world!
Posted by Howburn Digger
30th July 2011ce
Edited 30th July 2011ce