Scheduled Monument

An Bathach, promontory fort 300m ENE ofSM11879

Status: Designated


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The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort)
Local Authority
Daviot And Dunlichity
NH 72812 39660
272812, 839660


The monument comprises a prehistoric promontory fort lying 300m ENE of the occupied farmstead of An Bathach. It probably dates to the Iron Age (about 2500-1500 years ago). The fort sits on a cliff above the River Nairn, at 155m above sea level, but its northern approach is from gently sloping land.

The natural promontory measures about 60m from N to S by 25m transversely; a stone bank cuts off its neck. This bank stands to a height of 1.5m and measures approximately 4.5m in width. Each end of the stone bank returns to the S for 15m and terminates at the cliff edge. The fort's interior is naturally uneven and there is no visible evidence of additional defences or structures.

Although there are no visible internal features, traces of structures associated with the occupation of the site may still exist. The small size of the promontory would suggest that this housed a single family of farmers. Rivers during the prehistoric period were known communication routes, and as such were an important aspect of the natural and historical landscape. The location of the promontory fort on the bend of the river, with views both W down the river and N up the river, is likely to have had strategic importance.

The area to be scheduled is an irregular polygon on plan, to include the fort and an area around in which evidence for its construction and use may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Statement of National Importance

Cultural Significance

The monument's archaeological significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The promontory fort has well-preserved visible upstanding remains of a defensive stone bank that may have once been part of a rampart structure. Therefore the monument has the potential to add to our understanding of the defensive elements of prehistoric promontory forts. The undisturbed nature of the interior of the fort may also mean that there is the potential for archaeological features under the ground that may add to our understanding of the function of this particular monument.

Contextual characteristics: Promontory forts are only one type of prehistoric defence and we know little about the function of these structures, particularly the smaller sites. Therefore this monument has the potential to add to its class of monument, both in the Highland region and throughout Scotland. If destroyed valuable information about this type of monument would be lost. The location of this promontory fort so near to an important natural communication route also has the potential to add to our understanding of why the location of these sites were chosen and how prehistoric people understood and perceived the natural landscape.

National Importance

This monument has the potential to add to our understanding of defensive sites of the later prehistoric period, the construction of these sites and their function. Its loss would diminish our ability to understand the monument's class, the interplay between this particular monument and its location in the landscape, and prehistoric perceptions of the landscape and how that influenced the way they lived.



RCAHMS record this monument as NH73NW 3. It is recorded in the Highland Council SMR as NH73NW0003.


Cameron D 1882, 'Notice of the Ancient Circular Dwellings, Hill Forts, and Burial Cairns of Strathnairn', PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 16, 292.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

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: 26/06/2022 20:52