King's Seat Hillfort Archaeology Project

The King's Seat hillfort is situated on a prominent hill top above an important bend in the River Tay at Dunkeld. It has a dominating position overlooking Strath Tay, and while the fort has been known about for at least the last century, and is designated as nationally important, little is actually understood about it. How old is it? How did it develop? Did people live there and what was it used for? Only basic plans of the surviving earthworks have been made and no previous archaeological investigations have ever taken place.

Working in partnership with the Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society, and with the help of AOC Archaeology, this project aims to celebrate the site and explore the site with members of the local community. Over the three years volunteers will join professional archaeologists to archaeologically survey and excavate the site. The project aims to publish findings and incorporate the information into outreach material that will interpret the site and its story to the local community and visitors.

Project Partners:

This project is a partnership between Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) and the Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society with AOC Archaeology Ltd as archaeological contractors. 

Project Funders:


Interested in King's Seat?

We returned to King's Seat this September between 4th and 15th of September (excluding 9-10th). We had 49 volunteers making up the 2018 team including secondary school pupils on work placement and University students on archaeological fieldwork training. Investigations focused on the uppermost enclosed area of the hillfort, the ramparts and the inside of the middle terrace revealing more dating evidence and clues to how different parts of the site were being used.

The first two seasons have unearthed an amazing selection of early historic metalworking artefacts and possible slingshot ammunition. Fragments of crucibles, stone and clay moulds used for smelting and casting metal objects were identified suggesting that the site was hugely important in the production of prestige metalwork and may even have been a centre of production in the early historic/Pictish period (c.600-900 AD).

Project News

Follow us on the Project Blog!

The project blog is the place to read the latest happenings and discoveries and includes the dig diary. Click and scroll you're way through Dunkeld's exciting early historic heritage as it's uncovered and keep up to date with the latest news as this amazing project moves forward.

King's Seat Project Blog

Due to changes in the privacy settings of our news page provider to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, we are unable to embed the project blog on our website. We apologise for this inconvenience. To view the King's Seat blog and latest news, click on the blog image above or visit: