The hill fortifications on the White and Brown Cathertun near Brechin, Angus, were our first walk on our trip to Scotland last summer. We had the most beautiful weather that day, blue skies and rolling cumuli. It did rain the day before and it did rain the day after, so the memory is even more delightful. The view was magnificent, we could even see the sea.
The Brown and the White Caterthun are two hills sitting shoulder to shoulder between rolling fields and uncultivated higher ground. The hill fort on the Brown Caterthun consists of five or six concentric earthen banks but is not easy to pick them out as the hill is covered by heath, hence its name. The structure was build between 3000BC and 500BC possibly for ritual use. We had the classic experience of almost stepping on grouse chicks while on top.
The White Caterthun is the southern one of the two. It’s slightly higher, but what makes is more noticeable is the forth on top of it. The fallen ramparts remain uncovered by vegetation and their pale coloured stones form what looks something like a cap on the hill from the distance. You can still easily make out the layout of the forth once you get up there. The forth was probably built by Picts during the first centuries AD by which time the neighboring forth on the Brown was no longer in use. There is a cup marked stone on the westerly side of the fallen ramparts, but it’s not easy to find. I felt like Indiana Jones as we tried to locate it, and we did!