Burghead Hillfort

Burghead Hillfort.jpg

Burghead Hillfort

Burghead was a great fort in the north of Scotland, along the southern side of the Moray Firth. That big edge of the North Sea that angles into North East Scotland, and the far northern tip of the Highland Region, 

So Burghead itself was a fort half way along the coast from Inverness to Peterhead. Today there is a town that is still there, and has partly built over the great fort itself. . 

So here is my bullet point list of some facts on that gone,, but not forgotten ancient fortification. 

* This great fort hit it's prime in the Dark Ages, what modern archaeologists call the Early Medieval Period. The period in between when Rome left the Island of Britain, and when the Normans arrived on Britain's shores. 

* The fort seems to have blossomed from the 4th to 9th Centuries. 

* The above picture is a public domain picture of Burghead hillfort, a plan drawn by the guy mentioned here, in 1793. 

* The fort was very likely, according to modern experts to have been the central location of the Kingdom of Fortriu. Though in the past some thought this was a kingdom based in Perthshire, now it is felt it was here. 

*The Kingdom of Fortriu was the state that effectively united the Kingdom of the Picts, which were essentially the forerunners, after a union with the Scots of South West Scotland, into becoming the Kingdom and nation of Scotland. This after their incredinle victory at Dun Nechtain over Northumbria in the mid 7th Century which knocked out that the lead kingdom of England, which had been looking like it was set to be the major kingdom of the isle, taking all of Britain under it's control. So a pretty important location in that case. 

* Burghead, seems to have been on the end of a peninsula, and to have used this to make it both a fortification, and a likely centre of any Pictish navy of the time. 

* Sadly it's Pictish name was no recorded in terms of the fort.

* The was destroyed when a town of Burghead was built in the early 19th century, but its remains were recorded  by William Roy in 1793. Part of its inner ramparts happily survive 3.0 m high,[4] and part of the of the innermost outer rampart survives as Doorie Hill. It's underground well likely a religious site, survives, and important Pictish sculptures from the base as well. 

* The fort had an area of 5 hectares. It and Tap o'Noth were both quite large Pictish forts, 

* The ramparts seemed almost Murus Gallicus like in their methods. 

* The fort seemed to stop so much use in the 19th Century, which does happen to be when Norse raiders were raiding the Pictish kingdom, which partly caused the Picts surely to be forged into a merger with the Scots of Argyll and the like, and then the kingdom of Scotland, and holding back to some extent of the Vikings. 

* The Pictish navy was important in the 4th to 8th Century, 

* There were fine bull carvings on the walls, of the large flat stones removed from the fort, which can only be seen as ritual or as a symbol of the power of the fort.

* Also it is recorded there was a event in the 17th Century the burning of clavie,  where a burning barrel was carried through the town, with more ritual events to do with it carried out. This event was seemingly seen as something that had been occurring for a long time, and some are tempted to believe from Gaelic's arrival here times, and earlier. It still occurs today. 

* The Moray firth is named after the kingdom of Moray, which was likely named after the Gaelic words for sea, so interesting there. It is known about from the 9th Century, and was surely a geographical successor to Fortiu, not politically but in terms of geographical placement. I mean the early 11th Century king of them for instance was the Gaelic speaking father of MacBeth. Moray and Galloway seem to have been 2 remarkably apart elements of Scotland, across the Medieval period. Though always integral to any campaign that tried to stop conquest of Scotland by a outside power. Like look how much they helped at 1314. I think Moray had been based on Inverness and the Spey's wealth, but was followed by it becoming more of a province. Below the links I also have a super amateurish level drawing of Tap o'Noth I made. Well it's all I am capable of, and that is that. I have tried portraying even the standing stones with the images on it. It is supposed to be when it was a major Dark Ages site of hundreds, likely thousands of people. 

Tap o'Noth.jpg