Mull of Galloway Enclosure
The Mull of Galloway, is a geographical location that is the most southerly point in Scotland.
Well the strange fact about Scotland’s hillforts, just like with England and Bindon hillfort, is that the largest enclosure in Scotland is not a imposing high banks site, that sets many imaginations thinking of amazing battles. The largest is on the Mull of Galloway. This is the area that sits on the large Hammerhead shape peninsula on the south west of Scotland facing Ireland's Ulster, the Rhinns of Galloway as they are known . Galloway’s mainland, the area east of there itself, is full of uplands, and forest in the modern era, but the Rhinns, are very much an exterior lower, equally rural appendage of it.
On the southern edge or tip of these Rhinns, just over half an hours drive, 22 miles from the port town of Stranraer, ( the site of the natural harbour of south west Scotland to Ireland ), is a lighthouse and bird sanctuary area, of cattle and sheep. Here you can look off the coast at rocky islets and the coast of Galloway, and the birds and boats that wander across past here. I mention this location, as a not particularly glamorous looking muddy sheep covered embankment and ditch, across a area, separate 54 hectares of between 200 and 400 metre wide peninsula 1.7KM long of this the thinnest end of the Rhinns. There is no evidence that it is a Iron Age site, but it is possible it was from then or the Dark Ages. What could this southern most point of Scotland have been used for. Possibly it was just to protect farm animals from attacks, but why such a site so far from where most people and livestock on the Rhinns would be? The cliffs of this peninsula’s end, essentially forming a promontory or finger that protects off landings and attacks. There is some evidence of arrowheads, and axes, but they may be unconnected to the palisades at this site. Also who would have such a dangerous place for a centre here, it is not central to anywhere. I mean yes sea travel was often easier than land travel, but only for long distance travel. So surely few would set up a capital here in pre Roman times. Additionally surely there are better sites for trade, yes it is closer to some faraway lands, but it is so far from most Scottish, or even Galloway people, and thus trade, that overland travel to here would be worse than sending a ship further up the coast surely. Maybe of course though, it was never a settled site, perhaps, it was simply a refuge again for people and livestock, using geography for protection, to guard off attackers.
So what could it be? It could be much later than even Dark Age, it could a Viking or Roman era Raiders site, well protected and far from land or sea attackers. I mean yes you can see England, Ireland and the Manx, but only far away and on a clear day. Perhaps it was a site of Roman era raiders from Scotland into Ireland, or vice versa, or Dark Ages, or Iron Ages raiders. Or a last ditch battle site for Iron Age tribes from Rome, or somebody else. Then again anything Roman would crop up pretty well. So my best guess, is seeing the lack of finds associated with the site, it could have bits that were ancient. So Maybe it was site for a Ulster king to hide items, or a Iron Age pirate raider society, maybe a British, or Pictish site, who knows?
Or maybe like Lundy Isle, or some more townlike sites of the time in Ireland like Dublin, or indeed the Orkney Islands and such back in Scotland's realm, it was used as a base by the Vikings. I mean it would be quite central to the Viking Kingdom of Mann and the Isles. Or a Viking King of Dublin, as they had colonies and lands they claimed all over the place, for their Norse empire. Also there were apparently landowners round here, whose name derives from a Gaelic term for Danes, I mean like the Norse and Danes as Vikings terms, indicating that family for example from round here had some Viking heritage along with the Celtic heritage of here. So I mean it sounds quite a possibility a base for Viking raiders or cattle thieves and such. Or even just a nice homebase for the Vikings, or temporary base. Maybe it could be the Kings of Mann and the Isles (when they held the Inner Hebrides) or maybe those Hiberno- Norse Kings of Dublin, as the Dublin ones at times, like Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, did possibly hold the Rhinns.
Well whatever it is, if it was Dark Ages, or Roman, or Iron Age, or even more, maybe just a very late medieval, or a post 17th Century, or more recent site, whatever the case, it has some importance, seeing it is the largest enclosure in Scotland of this type. You can call it a hillfort, but it could be too recent for that.
As I say there is a Mull of Galloway Visitor centre right at the tip of this southern most most southerly tip of Scotland, well mainland Scotland, as there are some rock islets further south very nearby. There is also the Mull of Galloway lighthouse that we visited. It is more about the lighthouse and the RSPB centre here, and the enclosure does not get as much attention, as of course, it is lower down the list of interestingness to most people, but I was glad to see this highly enigmatic site on the Rhinns of Galloway. Scotland's most southerly hillfort or enclosure.
It is within the parish of Kirkmaiden, which apparently also has the small hillfort, Core Hill Fort, and Dunman Fort, which is early Iron Age site. And in addition a dun or broch called Crammag Head, which has apparently massively decreased in structure as of erosion, it being on the coast. Plus there is a motte and bailey as well, called High Drummore Motte and Bailey.
One more thing they are not spelt, The Rhins of Galloway, The Rins of Galloway, The Rinns of Galloway, The Rin of galloway, Therinnsofgalloway, The Rhine of Galloway, The Rhin of Galloway, or the Rhinn of Galloway. It is the Rhinns of Galloway. Also it is the South Rhinns not the South Rinn. So that is my page on the Mull of Galloway Enclosure.
Here are my pictures and a map of the enclosure below, nobody can use these pictures without my permission.
For sale on Amazon, Including more pictures of the Mull of Galloway Enclosure area, The 47th Part, of the Land of Hillforts, the pictures and maps, for Scotland, related to my story the Land of Hillforts. I have here my Iron Age and Dark ages themed map of Scotland, in portions, which is also on part 46. Plus some amateurish pictures of, some of these sites. I have over 200 pictures here, mostly by me, and of those, most of mine are of not that great a level. Ones taken by me are not public domain, but I got some from public domain, from websites. So of mine, around 20 or so are of the area around Burnswark Hillfort, and around almost half a dozen each of the fort by Gretna Service station and the Eildon Hills, each of those 3, are not in the forts themselves but from outside of them. Then I have some crannogs and broch pics, mostly by others, not many. Then about 50 pictures of mostly by me, of Dumbarton Rock / Castle, really of the castle as I did not get to the top. Then about 35 pictures by myself of the area, of the enclosure known as the Mull of Galloway enclosure. Then some of some random Scottish hillforts, barely 1 or 2 each, you can see, but most of those unlike my pics are public domain I got off the internet. Then also some pictures of Scottish countryside, mostly by myself again, as it fits the scene. Then lastly over 62 pictures of my walk towards Torwoodlee broch and hillfort.
So this is not anything too special, but may be of use to people who read my work, or who can not get to Mull of Galloway, or Torwoodlee Broch