appearance of an unfinished work. It is a pure earthwork and consists of various
unconnected segments of ditch and rampart around a hill top. Stoneworks are
not common among the forts of Nithsdale, but there are two, both in the parish of
Kirkmahoe, which call for comment. The one at the Belt, High Townhead (No. 342),
on a promontory overlooking the valley, is remarkable for the extent of its defences.
It is comparatively small, measuring in the interior 163 feet by 109 feet, and its situation
as a strong one. On its more assailable front it has seemingly been protected by three
outer walls, and the entrance has been carried through these walls by a passage
some 95 feet in length. There is an absence of trenchwork in its defences which may
indicate an early period for its origin; and the groups of small cairns and hut circles
on Glenmaid Moor (No. 343), Whitestanes Moor (No. 344), and Shaws Moor (No. 345),
at no great distance to the north, are evidence of the early occupation of the neigh-
bourhood. The other stone fort, the Mullach (No. 339), occupies the summit of a pro-
minent hill about 1 1/2 miles to the north-west. It is the only vitrified fort observed
in the county. The two walls which enclose the enceinte are at a considerable dis-
tance apart, and here also there is no entrenchment. The vitrifaction appears in
both walls, and it is noteworthy, as bearing on the question of the production of that
condition, that there is no trace of anything of the kind on the rocky summit which
forms the centre of the fort, where it might have been expected, had signal fires been
the accidental cause of vitrifaction in forts. It lies at a distance of 10 miles from
the sea, which is somewhat unusual in the case of a fort of this class. In the valley
of the Cairn, a tributary of the Nith, there lies, some seven miles below Moniaive at
Snade, an earthwork of unusual character, which is probably late, but which does not
fall into any other class of earthwork in the county. This is a circular plat known as
"The Orchard," measuring some 116 feet by 103 feet, lying on low ground near the
river defended by ditches and ramparts, the former of which are capable of being
artificially flooded from the Cairn. The ditches are broad and deep, the ramparts
massive, and the situation with its wet ditches seems to indicate a possible mediæval
origin. Though this construction is much more imposing, it recalls the so-called
Trowdale "Mote" in the parish of Crossmichael in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, ¹
situated in low-lying swampy ground and surrounded by two concentric ditches
which appear to have held water.
Of the ninety-four ² forts of Annandale, we have already dealt with those of
rectilinear plan, which number only seven. The remainder, following the principles
which have been adopted in this survey, we may divide in the first case into stoneworks
and earthworks. The former, it will be observed on reference to the Inventory, are
almost entirely confined to the parish of Kirkpatrick-Juxta, in the stretch of country
bounded by the River Annan for a few miles southward from Beattock on the east,
and by Queensberry Hill on the west. And as in Nithsdale we found the only two
stone-built forts adjacent to the region of the small cairns and hut circles, so here also
this class of fort is situated in that portion of the county where large cairns are
least scarce, and where in places the small cairns abound. The earthworks are not
confined to any particular locality, nor do they exhibit any peculiarities of structure
or of plan which distinguish them specially from forts found elsewhere. Considered
according to the factors noted in reference to the Nithsdale forts, a considerable
number show rock-cutting in their trenches, such, for example, as the forts of Range
Castle (No. 98), Dalton Parish, Carthur Hill (No. 291), Hutton and Corrie Parish,

1 Kirkcud. Inv., No. 140.
2 A segment of another is reported at Greenhill plantation, Cummertrees.

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