Scheduled Monument

Kittock's Den, fortSM10437

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort)
Local Authority
St Andrews And St Leonards
NO 55322 15035
355322, 715035


The monument comprises a promontory fort overlooking St Andrews Bay, visible as upstanding remains. The fort is located between a deep coastal ravine known as Kittock's Den to the E and a 30m-high sea cliff to the NW. The fort defences have been incorporated into landscaping for the 18th green of Devlin golf course at St Andrews Bay Resort.

Monuments of this type normally date to the Iron Age (about 2000 years ago) or later. The field containing the fort used to be known as Castle Acre, which might indicate that the fort was in use as late as the medieval period.

Prior to development of the golf course (1998-2001), the fort defences consisted of a single massive rampart and external ditch, which cut off the landward (SW) side of the promontory. The rampart enclosed an area measuring c.87m NE-SW by 80m NW-SE, which sloped gently towards the NW and contained no surface traces of structures.

The rampart was c.30m wide, stood up to 1.5m high and ran over a length of 70m. The ditch survived as a shallow linear depression, c.25m wide. There may have been an entrance through the defences at the eastern end, where they terminate c.7m short of the ravine (a second gap at the western end of the defences is probably secondary).

During construction of the golf course, the enclosed area (NE of the rampart) was overlain with a 0.3m depth of topsoil, obscuring any remains. Three bunkers were constructed in the vicinity of the ditch. A concentration of stones, described as possibly the remains of dry-stone masonry associated with the ditch, was encountered during construction of the SE bunker, after which no further soil was removed.

The area to be scheduled is irregular in plan, with maximum dimensions of 134m NE-SW by 105m transversely, to include the remains of the outer ditch, the rampart and the area enclosed by the rampart, extending to the edges of the ground above the sea cliffs and Kittock's Den, as marked in red on the accompanying map. The top 0.3m of all grassed areas, tracks and bunkers associated with the golf course are excluded from the scheduling to allow for routine maintenance.

Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric and later defensive settlement in general, and of the construction and use of promontory forts in particular. It also has the potential to contribute to an understanding of contemporary society and economy.



RCAHMS records the monument as NO 51 NE 1.


Cook, M. (1998) An archaeological desk-based assessment and evaluation of a proposed golf course at Kingask Farm, St. Andrews, Fife: Data Structure Report.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

Scheduling is the way that a monument or archaeological site of national importance is recognised by law through the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments of national importance using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The description and map showing the scheduled area is the legal part of the scheduling. The additional information in the scheduled monument record gives an indication of the national importance of the monument(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the monument(s). The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief and some information will not have been recorded. Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

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Printed: 24/03/2019 13:03