Scheduled Monument

Duchary Rock, fortSM1854

Status: Designated


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

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
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort)
Local Authority
NC 85078 4786
285078, 904786


The monument is the remains of a fort, probably dating from the Iron Age (between 600 BC and AD 400). It occupies a steep sided ridge around 230m above sea level, taking advantage of the natural protection afforded by steep cliffs. Substantial stone walls are visible at the north and south ends where the cliffs give way to steep slopes. The walls and cliffs enclose an area of around 300m northwest-southeast by about 110m transversely.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan, to include the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction and use is expected to survive, and adjoining land essential for the monument's support and preservation, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduled area extends up to, but excludes, the track to the southwest. The monument was first scheduled in 1935, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains: the present amendment rectifies this.


Statement of National Importance

The monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of Iron Age society in Sutherland and the function, use and development of forts and other defended sites. This is a good example of a fort, occupying a spectacular location with contemporary sites in the vicinity. The outer works of the fort are impressive, formed by substantial stone walls which add to the strong natural defences of Duchary Rock. Architectural features such as wall facings, door checks and building joints are visible, and the site demonstrates how naturally defensive locations were chosen and augmented to create defended settlements. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with other Iron Age settlement to the north and northeast. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the character, development and use of forts, and the nature of Iron Age society, economy and social hierarchy in the north of Scotland and further afield.



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 6535 (accessed on 30/05/2016).

The Highland Council HER reference is MHG10863 (accessed on 30/05/2016).

Close-Brooks, J. (1986) Exploring Scotland's heritage: the Highlands, Exploring Scotland's heritage series. Edinburgh.

Close-Brooks, J. (1995) The Highlands, Exploring Scotland's Heritage series, ed. by Anna Ritchie. 2nd. Edinburgh.

Feachem, R. (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. 1st. London.

Hogg, A H A. (1975) Hill-forts of Britain. London.

RCAHMS. (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland. Edinburgh.

HER/SMR Reference

  • MHG10863

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

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/04/2024 16:06