Latest News

Historical Attraction

Dinvin Motte - A hidden historical gem near Girvan

Discover Dinvin Motte, one of the best-preserved mottes in Scotland

Three miles south of Girvan on the road to Pinmore is one of the best-preserved medieval mottes in Scotland, yet it remains one of the town’s most under-the-radar historical sites. The distinctive mound barely peeks above the surrounding fields, making it easy to miss as you drive by.

A small layby with an information board near the scheduled monument provides the first indication that something special is nestled in the adjacent landscape. The panel reveals the peculiar grassy lump across the field is actually Dinvin Motte. The origins of the name Dinvin are thought to derive from Dun Fionn, meaning White Fort in Gaelic. This, along with the size of the site, has led experts to conclude the defensive hillfort dates back to the iron-age.

Those that venture across the field for a closer look are confronted with a remarkable scene as the details of the central mound surrounded by two circular ditches start to unfold.

A ramp on the east side provides entry, and as you reach the summit, extensive views open out in every direction. It is thought a medieval timber castle once stood at the top of the earthworks, defended by a tall palisade and the surrounding ditches.

When walking around the hillfort, features impossible to detect from the roadside start to become visible. However, it is only when looking down at Dinvin Motte from above that the full extent of the construction can really be appreciated.

Dinvin Motte can be reached by entering the gate at the layby and crossing the field. As this is part of a working farm, The Scottish Outdoor Access Code should be adhered to.

When you return to the layby, take a moment to reflect on another impressive manmade construction concealed beneath your feet. Around 1877, a 496m long railway tunnel was built to connect Girvan with Stranraer. As the information board states ‘You are standing in a remarkable place!’.

You may also be interested in our blog post about Dow Hill, another hillfort on the edge of Girvan.