Caterthun, or the Caterthuns, is a ridge of hills near the city of Brechin in Angus, Scotland. The Caterthuns are notable for being the site of two Iron Age forts known as the White Caterthun and the Brown Caterthun which are designated as a scheduled monument.

The White Caterthun, on the west, is dominated by an oval fort consisting of a massive dry-stone wall, with a well or cistern in the middle. The light-coloured stone wall gives the White Caterthun its name. The photo shows part of the dry-stone wall on the summit of the White Caterthun:

The Brown Caterthun, on the east, consists of a series of earthen embankments (hence the name 'brown'). There is little evidence of settlement, agriculture or water supply here, so the purpose of the earthworks is uncertain. Brown may be from the British word for hill (bron / bryn).

Both Caterthuns show several entrances to the summit that radiate outwards, like the spokes on a wheel. The significance of these entrances, if any, is unknown, but they may have aligned with geographical features that no longer exist, such as other settlements. From radio-carbon dating, the Brown Caterthun appears to have been built and modified over several centuries in the latter half of the first millennium BC. Parts of the White Caterthun may have been contemporary with the Brown Caterthun, but it is believed that the main stone wall was built by the Picts or their progenitors in the first few centuries AD.



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Brechin, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1000-0 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andy Holmes (12 months ago)
Very difficult to rate something like this. There are two hill forts one on either side of the road, we were advised to visit the white side as there is more to see. There is a short walk to the top and the boundary is quite obvious as it is constructed from a vast amount of stone. In some ways the best view would really be from the air as there is no other way to see enough of it in one go. But it was a pleasant walk and an hour well spent.
Sam March (2 years ago)
Decent walk, though a bit disappointing at the top.
A.R (2 years ago)
Ngl I went up to the top and I still don't know what it was! But really, does anyone? It's as old as the hills and mysterious. It's thoroughly enjoyable on a hot sunny summer day. Forget the beach, up in the caterthuns the air is beautifully chilled, like you just opened the fridge door. Basically what you see when you get to the top is a large circle of heather surrounded by a circle of stones and you can walk through it or around it (if your balance is good). If you're lucky you'll meet other explorers while you're there like I did, one man exclaimed I'm 75! Clear views for miles all the way around. Give it a go!
Clark Boyle (2 years ago)
Some deep snow drifts today, but made it up to the top
Chris Wilson (3 years ago)
A good walk from the road to tge summit. Not too far not too near. A good stretch of the legs. If you want a little nore exercise cross the road and walk up to Brown Cathertun and back.
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