West Lothian Archaeology Group

Castlethorn Prehistoric Hillfort

Archaeology Index

Aerial Photo

First Edition OS Map

WOSAS entries for Castlethorn (Scheduled): 17880   17863


Torphichen Hills with Castlethorn  highlighted, looking east (Cairnpapple top right by mast) KAP Pentax Optio W60) October 2009.

Is Castlethorn a hillfort in isolation?

Are the Torphichen Hills one large prehistoric settlement site?


Torphichen Hills

From above Gormyre Hill looking over Nether Gormyre Hill and Upper Castlethorn to Castlethorn.  Compare with Peace Knowe.

Jim Knowles    9 Jan 2011


Jim Knowles  March 2010

Overhead KAP shot showing the upper terrace of the fort.  This is an important scheduled ancient monument at the heart of Torphichen. On its summit there are the remains of what may be a fort or settlement. The highest part of the knoll is surrounded by a low bank and on the north a second bank takes in a lower terrace. The entrance lies in the west, and the trackway leading from it is marked by two standing stones. There are numerous other stones around the knoll which could constitute a stone circle or simply the result of quarrying.  J.K.


Upper Castlethorn  > Castlethorn > Lower Castlethorn

Viewed from the ~south-east.

The relative heights of the hills is deceptive (Telephoto from Cairnpapple) July 2009 IR Pentax Optio E35

Viewed from the ~south-east (from Cathlaw) July 2009  IR Fuji IS1.


Photos taken 5th March 2009

Castlethorn, looking ~east. Stone slabs at western entrance Larger version (KAP). As left, but inverted image. Stone slabs (white) at entrance (KAP).

To the west of Castlethorn.  The area at the top of the image is the Cuningar.

Looking approximately SW from the hill below Gormyre Hill

Aerial view of the features visible in image to left (KAP).

55 56' 5.7" N,  3 38' 40.0" W (~NW of the top of Castlethorn)

Kite aerial photos below were taken by Jim Knowles February 2010
Viewed from the north from above Upper Castlethorn.

Part of a larger composite image.


Jim Knowles  March 2010