White Caterthun Hillfort, Angus
South West of Edzell, Brechin
Minor road off B966
There is a parking area off the road, in the saddle between the two Caterthun hillforts. From the parking area, it is a very simply five minutes climb straight up to the summit of White Caterhun. You can easily combine this with a slightly longer walk to Brown Caterthun on the opposite hill, a walk of about 15 minutes.
Makes for thoroughly enjoyable and interesting walk.
White Caterthun hillfort is one of the most spectacular forts in Scotland, overlooking Brown Caterhun hillfort to the north east and commanding a wide sweep of countryside from a low hill on the north west side of Strathmore opposite Brechin. Its defences are disposed in four main circuits, the exact sequence of building is unknown.
The innermost defences are assumed to be the latest, comprising ofa massive bank of rubble up to 60 feet in thickness and up to 12 feet in height, enclosing a roughly oval area measuring about 550 feet by 220 feet. The bank of rubble, in which small fragments of vitrifaction have been found, almost certainly derives largely from a massive timber-laced wall.
The lack of an entrance through the wall is unusual, though there was once possibly a causeway across the ditch for added defence. Between the inner and outer earthwork defences is a cup and ring marked stone, which has about 60 carvings on its surface.
The history of the hillforts are believed to include a tribal stronghold, a center of ceremonial and royal importance, dating to the Iron Age when the area was inhabited by a mixture of Gaelic peoples of Celtic (Aryan) and Cymric (Welsh) origin. The name Caterthun is believed to be derived from catter (circular stone fort) and thun (fortified hill).