New Book Release: Hillforts of the Tay

We are delighted to announce the release of our latest publication on the spectacular prehistoric archaeology of Perth and Kinross. ‘Hillforts of the Tay’ tells the incredible stories of the hillforts of Moncreiffe Hill and Castle Law, Abernethy as recently revealed through a major community archaeology project.

Led by Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) as part of the Tay Landscape Partnership Scheme (TayLP), and delivered in partnership with AOC Archaeology Group, the Hillforts of the Tay project explored the archaeology of three of the most prominent hillforts around the Tay estuary. The project involved a wide range of experts and engaged hundreds of volunteers to gather a vast amount of information about these enigmatic hilltop sites and their residents along the Tay through topographic and geophysical surveys, targeted excavation and environmental research.

“The scale of this community archaeology project was incredible – with over 500 volunteers contributing 1,743 days to survey and excavate over a four-year period – in some way a fitting tribute to the Iron Age communities who constructed these monumental sites over 2,000 years ago. I do feel that through engaging in the hard graft of digging these sites, we in some way got closer those ancient builders – and this great little book tells the story for all…”
David Strachan, PKHT Director


The booklet presents the findings from this exciting project in a handy, easily accessible format making extensive use of illustrations to tell the stories of these fascinating sites, the people who built them, and the community of volunteers and experts who investigated them over 2014-2018.

“It has been a privilege to work with the community on these important hillforts. The remains of the ramparts and structures that were investigated during our excavations have much to add to our understanding of the use of these sites during the Iron Age as well as having important implications to the way we understand hillforts in the region more broadly.”
Martin Cook, Director of Fieldwork at AOC Archaeology Group

The publication is packed with interesting details, examining the structures uncovered and the artefacts found during excavation, including the beautiful Moredun Bronze Pin, a miniature masterpiece of early Celtic art. It also discusses aspects of the construction, use and abandonment of each of the hillforts over 2,000 years ago, before bringing the different strands of evidence together alongside information on the Iron Age environment and landscape to paint a picture of the sites in their wider, natural context. The immersive Virtual Reality modelling by Smart History, University of St Andrews and the beautiful interpretative reconstructive illustrations of each site produced by Chris Mitchell are a captivating visual culmination of this work (you can explore these and more at

“AOC Archaeology Group are proud to work in partnership with PKHT and the TayLP on this important project. Not only has the Hillforts of the Tay project given us an important insight into the complexities of daily life at these fascinating sites over 2,000 years ago but it has also provided us with a unique and important opportunity to share our passion for archaeology and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Perth and Kinross.”
Dr Andy Heald, Managing Director of AOC Archaeology Group

‘Hillforts of the Tay’ is the latest release in the popular series of booklets published by PKHT that reveal the stories of some of the region’s fascinating built and archaeological heritage gems in an engaging and accessible way.

The Hillforts of the Tay project and booklet was produced through the generous support of the TayLP Project’s funders, notably the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, The Gannochy Trust, and Perth and Kinross Council.

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