The Caterthuns and Edzell

The Caterthuns

The Caterthuns are two large hill-top Iron Age forts near Edzell in Angus. The white Caterthun is very distinctive with an extensive ring of white rubble, the remains of the drystone perimeter wall which originally would have been 12m thick and several metres high.

The Brown Caterthun is not nearly so easy to distinguish on the ground: it’s just a series of mounds. In fact we were right in the middle of it before we realised!

It was impossible to get pictures to do justice to either fort so, for anyone interested, this video has superb aerial footage as well as a reconstruction of how the White Caterthun might have looked all those centuries ago.

The Caterthuns from Kieran Baxter on Vimeo.

From here, we went into Edzell, a charming village entered under the Dalhousie Arch which was erected in 1887 in memory of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie and his wife. Our first objective was lunch, which we found at the Panmure Arms (very good) before exploring further.

Just north of Edzell is the “Blue Door” walk along the gorge of the River North Esk. A good way to work off lunch! Running through The Burn estate, a charitable trust, the original path was created in the late 18th century and was walked by none other than Queen Victoria in 1861. That woman got everywhere! One thing that was very noticeable was the result of last winter’s storms – so many fallen trees, now being cleared away.

This was a lovely excursion on the last day of our 2022 Easter Break on the Angus coast. However, it is not my last post about it, because we did make a foray into Aberdeenshire earlier in the week. I’ve saved that till the end because there are so many photographs I’m a bit daunted. The visit included Catterline, a village I have wanted to visit for years. Find out why next time!


  1. The Caterthun forts sound so interesting – what an incredible video production too! I loved the way they reconstructed the mounds and forts as they were likely to have been back in the Iron Age. I also loved the changing of the seasons – they look so pretty in the snow plus the choice of music was wonderful! Looks like you had a lovely day out here and in Edzell 🙂


  2. I’d never heard of the Caterthuns and it was so interesting to see the video.
    Dalhousie makes me think of Isabel Dalhousie in the Alexander McCall Smith books. I suppose there had to be a place called that!


  3. An interesting post Anabel, I’d never heard of the Caterthuns before. I enjoyed the video, the white Caterthun looks amazing from the air, especially with the snow on the ground 🙂


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