Historic Scotland

Opening times

Coulter Motte Hill is open year-round.

Facilities

 

History

Medieval mystery

Little can be said about Coulter Motte. It’s certainly of medieval date, but because no archaeological excavation has taken place, there’s little else we know.

It’s possible the motte-castle was built by Flemish immigrants, who were invited by King Malcolm IV to settle in Upper Clydesdale in about 1160. However, excavation at another Upper Clydesdale motte showed it dated from the Wars of Independence with England, about 1300.

More than this

The existing motte cannot account for the whole castle built at the site – there would have been a bailey, or service court, attached. The motte’s modest size indicates it would have been the residence of a minor landowner, or a fortification controlling a river crossing. Larger motte-castles elsewhere reflect the higher status of their builders.

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