Nearest town: Brechin
Nearest village: Tigerton
NO 555668 (Brown Caterthun)
NO 547660 (White Caterthun)
White Caterthun's inner wall was some 12 m thick and several metres high
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).
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