Knock Hill, Dunblane, Stirlingshire

Hillfort:  OS Grid Reference – NS 7825 9845

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 45987
  2. Gallow Hill

Getting Here

The snow-covered old fort

You can come here from either Dunblane to the north, or Bridge of Allan immediately south: either way you reach the site by going along the A9 road until you reach the Lecropt Church, a half-mile north of Bridge of Allan.  On the other side of the road is a somewhat battered wooden gate.  Go through here and up towards the tree-covered hill, following its edges to the right for a few hundred yards, until you come to another very large mound covered in trees.  That’s what you’re looking for!

Archaeology & History

Described on early OS-maps as a “Supposed Roman Camp,” this large fortified stone hillock has more recently been considered a creation of indigenous Scots.  Hemmed in and hidden on most sides, by the rises of Knock Hill to the west and Gallows Hill to the east, the only lines of visibility out of the fortress is along a northwest to southeast corridor, keeping the site quite secret to outsiders.  It would have been a fine place for a small community in ages not-so-long-ago, keeping the people hidden from the pestilent invasions of both Romans and english in bygone times.

The tree-clad fort, through blizzard

The large raised oval enclosure was walled around its sloping sides and edges, with remains of a walled embankment still visible running around the top of the slopes.  What may have been traces of hut circles were on top of the hillock until recent times, but these have been much reduced by some digging near the middle of the site.  It would appear that an ‘entrance’ was once visible on the southeastern side of the fort, but when we came here the other day, a lovely blizzard covered the place in snow, so this was difficult to see.

When the Royal Commission chaps came to visit the place in 1979, they didn’t really say much about the place, merely telling of its dimensions, saying:

“This fort measures 48m by 32m within the remains of a single rampart 4.5m thick and 1m high.”

I’m sure there must be much to be said of this lovely old site by local antiquarians, but I haven’t found much as yet.  But if you’re wanting a nice quiet spot to sit for a while on the outskirts of Stirling and Dunblane, I’d heartily recommend visiting this place.  Badgers and deer also seem to like the place!

References:

  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1979.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

 

loading map - please wait...

  56.163164, -3.962214 Knock Hill