14/03/2012 - Howburn Digger is right, this place is a cracker. In an area covered in hillforts, if you were wondering where to go, you could do worse than start with this one. Very good access and the location of the fort is fantastic, over looking where Biggar Water and Holms Water meet the River Tweed. The fort itself is protected by a chevaux de frise and just north is the remains of a settlement. A very good site indeed. Easy to lose a few hours here.
This site is a cracker. Not least because it nestles on its hilltop, a mere two minute walk from the road (a very handy wee car park and fence stile). The fort is surrounded by many upright stones which form a chevaux de frise along most of the approaches. The chevaux de frise has survived incredibly well considering its closeness to the cleared pasture fields (with their excellent dry stane dykes) which surround it. Once I'd manouevred my way to the tumbled defense walls I found myself staring into the remains of some dwellings which had been inserted into the thick stonework. The view from the highest point inside the fort is spectacular.
There are steep crags which would have needed little in the way of defence construction on the Drumelzier side of the fort. The village of Broughton is only three or four minutes away in the opposite direction but this fort seems more to do with tiny Drumelzier across the Tweed in the valley below.
The twin forts of Tinnis Castle Hill and Henry's Brae sit perched on their conjoined hilltops across the other side of the Tweed beyond Drumelzier. Below, where the Drumelzier Burn flows into the Tweed, I could see the Whitethorn tree which marks Merlin's grave. On the way up the Dreva Road, I passed Merlin's huge, flat-topped altarstone by the roadside at Altarstone Farm. Far below and halfway down the Tweed to the altarstone sits the lonely menhir on Drumelzier Haugh. Folklore, Prehistory, Iron Age, Medieval. A very busy little stretch of my corner of Scotland.
I watched the sun set somewhere over behind the hills near Kilbucho and headed back home for hot chocolate and bed.