[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


Grinnan Hill


Location: Braco, Perth and Kinross

OS map reference:  NN 834 094                                                  

Celtic name:  Bograndium

Source:  Ravenna Cosmography (218) - Bograndium


This hillfort stands on the top of high ground, not particularly high but offering steep slopes to the west, south and east of the fort.

The writer’s reasons for associating the name Bograndium with the Roman fort now called Ardoch are given in Chapter 16 (Roman place-names in Scotland) of the Home menu. But the name will originally have been that of the hillfort now known as Grinnan Hill, located in the southwestern part of the village of Braco. The Bogr element is an old-style element in the hill-letter r, and meaning ‘high steep hill’, and and an old-style element in the hill-letter n2, the element meaning ‘hill summit’. The name is thus entirely appropriate for the hillfort.

In AD 79 or 80 the Romans transferred the name to a fort which they built just northeast of Braco, the fort now known as Ardoch.