Scheduled Monument

Laws Hill,broch & fortSM2394

Status: Designated


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Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch; fort (includes hill fort and promontory fort), Secular: folly
Local Authority
NO 4917 3489
349170, 734890


The monument is the remains of a hillfort and a later broch, both dating probably to the Iron Age (between around 800 BC and AD 500). The monument stands on top of Laws Hill, at about 125m above sea level, in a prominent position with views S over the River Tay. The monument was first scheduled in 1964, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present amendment rectifies this. The fort is oval in plan and measures about 130m NE-SW by 60m transversely. The remains of the turf-covered stone wall are faced (where visible) with large, carefully laid, square blocks and have a rubble core. Quantities of vitrified material have been reported as present within the core of the wall. Outer walls cover the NE and SW ends of the fort, and a third wall has been added at the SW. The remains of a later broch lie approximately at the centre of the fort, towards its northern side. The broch has an internal diameter of 10m, enclosed by a circular stone wall which still stands about 1m high and 4.9m thick. Several follies built in the late 19th or early 20th century also occur in the interior of the fort. These include a building known as the 'charnel house', which is circular with a domed stone roof open at the centre and an unglazed oculus piercing its W side. The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment may survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling excludes the above-ground elements of a mast and solar panel and the post-and-wire fence surrounding them.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because of its potential to add significantly to our understanding of prehistoric settlement, society, economy and domestic life. This combination of a relatively rare lowland broch sited within an earlier, possibly vitrified, fort gives the monument particular importance. There is high potential to investigate the relationship between the fort and the broch, and to compare this site with the few comparable examples in the area, such as Hurly Hawkin and Craig Mill. In addition to the upstanding visible remains, the site retains high potential for the survival of important archaeological deposits, features, artefacts and palaeoenvironmental evidence relating to its construction and use. Our understanding of the distribution, character, use and re-use of later prehistoric settlement sites would be diminished if this monument was to be lost or damaged.



Other information

RCAHMS record the site as NO43SE 7. The Angus SMR records the site as NO43SE 0007.


Christison, D 1900, 'The forts, "camps", and other field-works of Perth, Forfar and Kincardine', PSAS 34, 82-5.

Coutts, H 1970, Ancient monuments of Tayside, 21, 35-6.

NSA 1834-1845, The new statistical account of Scotland by the ministers of the respective parishes under the superintendence of a committee of the society for the benefit of the sons and daughters of the clergy, 15v, 11, 545-6.

Neish, J 1862, 'Reference notes to plan and views of ancient remains on the summit of the Laws, Forfarshire', PSAS 3, 440-7.

Neish, J 1865, 'Further notice of explorations on the Hill of Laws, Forfarshire', PSAS 5, 321-2.

OSA 1791-9, The statistical account of Scotland, drawn up from the communications of the ministers of the different parishes, in Sinclair, J (Sir), 13, 484-5.

RCAHMS 1950-9, Marginal Land Survey (unpublished typescripts).

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: 25/04/2019 15:25