[If the text below uses any of the terms ‘hill-letter’, ‘river-letter’, ‘old-style name’, ‘transitional name’ and ‘inversion-type name’ a reader who is not familiar with those terms may wish to refer briefly to ‘The Celtic names of hillforts’, where an explanation of those terms is given]



The Celtic names of hillforts


Craigie Hill


Location: north of Edinburgh airport

OS map reference: NT 154 758

Celtic name: originally Mond (no doubt with some ending), later Lamond or Almond

Source: Ravenna Cosmography (190) – Rumabo


This hillfort stands at the southern end of a ridge of high ground on the north side of the river Almond just a little to the north of Edinburgh airport.

For the writer’s reasons for associating the name Rumabo with the river Almond in Midlothian see Chapter 16 (Roman place-names in Scotland) of the Home menu. Rumabo is a river-name in the river-letters r and m, the bo just being a name-ending. The corresponding hill-letters are m and n and both of these are present in the modern name Cramond, the most probable location of the Flavian fort Rumabo, though no trace of the fort has yet been found. So far as the present writer is aware no trace of a Celtic settlement has been found at Cramond, so the Celtic settlement with a name of the form Mond will have been the hillfort on Craigie Hill. The Flavian fort Rumabo will simply have taken its name from the river. At some point the hillfort was taken over by people who used the hill-letter l, most probably l2, and the name of the hillfort became Lamond or Almond. The Flavian fort was abandoned some time after AD86 and when the Romans later built their Antonine fort at Cramond they simply transferred the name and presumably the inhabitants of the hillfort to Cramond. At some later date they transferred the place-name Lamond/Almond to the river and so the Rumabo became the Almond.