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BBC Coast - Burghead Pictish Fort

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This vitrified fort lies on top a headland which commands extensive views of the Moray Firth. Originally believed to be Ptolemy's 'Ptoroton' and the 'Torffness' of the Orkneyinga Saga it is now known to be of Pictish origin. It encloses 3 hectares and is three times as large as any other fort of the same period in Scotland and is thought to be the oldest Pictish Fort. It was defended on the landward side by three banks and ditches which were destroyed during the creation of the harbour and modern village, their age is therefore uncertain. Six striking carved slabs known as the Burghead Bulls were discovered during excavations. Four of the originals are held locally in Burghead Library and Elgin Museum and one each in the Royal Museum, Edinburgh, and in the British Museum, London. Much of the fort was destroyed during the re-building of the village from 1805-09. The Doorie Hill (see below), which marked the junction of the citadel and the bailey, is the only remaining piece of the southern ramparts. Lengths of the eastern and northern ramparts are also still visible.

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