Brown/White Caterthun

Angus, Tayside
Nearest town: Brechin
Nearest village: Tigerton
Map references:
NO 555668 (Brown Caterthun)
NO 547660 (White Caterthun)

Brown/White Caterthun Image Originally, White Caterthun's inner wall was some 12 m thick and several metres high

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The Caterthuns in Angus represent the classic hilltop location as well as a variety of building methods. Well-named, the White Caterthun is crowned by a mass of pale stone, while the Brown Caterthun lies beneath a dark mantle of heather. The two forts are only 2.6 km (1,5 m) apart, but they are very different and unfortunately there is no dating evidence for either. They are among the best-preserved forts in Scotland. The basic elements of each are stone-built main ramparts with outer earthworks, but the scale and treatment vary.
    The White Caterthun has a massive spread of stones, tumbled from two concentric walls, which in their heyday must have presented a stunning sight. The inner wall alone was some 12 m thick and several metres high, enclosing an area of about 2 acres (.7 hectares). Now the combined boulder mass is spread over about 30 m (100 ft).
    A great hollow in the interior marks the location of a large rock-cut cistern that held the fort's water-supply. Two major outer lines of earthwork defences are still visible. According to tradition, a witch took only one morning to carry the stones here in her apron.
     The stone-walled fort on the Brown Caterthun is larger in area, although not so impressive in scale as the White fort, but it has three outer lines of earthworks with which it shares an odd feature: causeways apparently marking no fewer than nine entrances. If they were original, it may be that this was no ordinary fort. It is not unknown, however, for an iron age fort to become the traditional location for medieval and later fairs.

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