Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle # CLS R NO276128 1 60m

    Maiden Castle 1790s OSA, 154
    Maiden Castle Clump 1831 RHP3554 [small clump of trees on the south side of the main road to Auchtermuchty]
    Maiden Castle 1840 Leighton 1840 ii, 110 [a fort west of the inn of Trafalgar]
    Maiden Castle 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn [‘British Fort Supposed’]

Sc maiden + Sc castle

This name recurs throughout Britain, typically applied to large fortifications, both historic and prehistoric, but here there is only a single rectangular enclosure consisting of a ditch between two low banks. ‘This is not an antiquity, but is probably a plantation bank or stock enclosure’ (Dr K. A. Steer, 1 November 1956, NMRS NO21SE 4). A number of burials have reportedly been found in the field around Maiden Castle: bones, stone coffins and urns (NMRS NO21SE 10).

    For the argument that the name is originally a literary conceit in the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth (first half of the twelfth century), see Coates 2006. See also Maiden Castle FAL and MAI (PNF 2).

    A picturesque local tradition concerning the name is found in OSA, ‘that, during the time of the siege, the governor died, and his daughter, concealing his death, gave the necessary orders in his name, and thus made the castle hold out until the enemy raised the siege’ (OSA, 154).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 4