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Record details

ID:MHG1937
Type of record:Monument
Name:Broch, Loch of Yarrows
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Images

Photo showing unstable wall.  © Please contact Highland Council for detailsAlternative view of broch  © Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details© Please contact Highland Council for details

Reports

Article  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 636 KB)Black and white photograph  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 64 KB)Colour photograph  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 238 KB)Colour photograph  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 1004 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 174 KB)Sites and Monuments Record Card  © Highland Council (File size: 107 KB)Plan  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 421 KB)Report  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 154 KB)Report  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 32 KB)Report  © Please contact Highland Council for details (File size: 285 KB)
Grid Reference:ND 3083 4349
Map Sheet:ND34SW
Civil Parish:WICK
Geographical Area:CAITHNESS

Monument Types

  • SETTLEMENT (Early Iron Age to Medieval - 550 BC to 1559 AD)

Associated Finds

Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 611: Loch of Yarrows, broch on SW side of, Thrumster

Scores

  • Survival: UNDER WATER (undated)

Other References/Statuses

  • Historic Environment Record: MHG1937
  • NMRS NUMLINK Reference: 8982
  • NMRS Record Details: ND34SW1 YARROWS
  • Old SMR Reference Number: ND34SW0001

Full description

Loch of Yarrows, ND34SW0001

Yarrows broch is one of the most complex brochs in Caithness. Situated on a promontory projecting into the loch, it is surrounded by cellular buildings, built on the middens of even earlier structures. It is overlain by later aisled houses known as ‘wags’, from the Gaelic word for cave. (49)

When the broch was excavated in the late nineteenth century, five human skeletons were found. One of these had been buried with a brass brooch, dating between AD 1200 and 1300. This suggests that, even after the broch had gone out of use, it remained an important focal point in landscape into the medieval period. (56)
(9.1m/13m/3.3m)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
RCAHMS. 1911. Caithness. Edinburgh: HMSO, 149-51, No. 509.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

ND34SW 1 3083 4349.
Cairns of Yarrows (NAT) Broch & Settlement (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

The broch of Yarrows, with secondary structures, including wags, is situated on a spur projecting into the Loch of Yarrows, isolated from the mainland by a ditch 25-30ft wide.
Before excavation by Anderson in 1866-7 the remains appeared as a grass-covered mound 18-20ft high. The broch consisted of a circular wall, 12-13ft thick and then 15ft high, enclosing an area 30ft diameter. The relics were presented to NMAS.
1910 the wall stood c11ft high. Much of structure was still visible, and the walls of the secondary structures were in good condition.
Anderson also found five human skeletons, one with a 13t-14th century brass brooch, in the mound.
J Anderson 1873; 1883; 1868; RCAHMS 1911.

A broch and settlement, generally as described by RCAHMS, partly waterlogged due to damming of Loch of Yarrows. The encircling ditch is now visible as a vague silted-up marshy area. The name 'Cairns of Yarrows' is no longer used locally.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 2 May 1967.

This broch is probably an early form. A stretch of lintelled ground-level gallery, unnoted by the excavator, is in NE arc. The entrance in E is probably primary, that at the foot of the mural stair probably being pushed through when the settlement outside was being built. A secondary wall has been introduced to the interior of the broch, which is usually an indication that it has been converted into a dwelling and its high wall destroyed.
E W Mackie 1975.

Active erosion was noted at broch. Date 04/00.
Causes included visitors, stock and unstable walls were visible at broch entrance. See Hlink photos.

J Aitken : 24/01/01.


Loch of Yarrows (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG13611.


Loch of Yarrows (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG13612.


Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph). SHG3916.


Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4419.


Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4420.


Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4421.


Yarrows Broch (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG13649.


Anderson, J, 1869, 'Report on excavations in Caithness cairns, conducted for the Anthropological Society of London by Messrs. J Anderson and R I Shearer in 1866', Mem Anthrop Soc London Vol. 3 1867-9, p.216-42, 228 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1402.


Anderson, J, 1873, ''Notice of the excavation of the brochs of Yarhouse, Brounaben, Bowermadden, Old Stirkake, and Dunbeath in Caithness; with remarks on the period of the brochs, and an appendix, containing a collected list of the brochs of Scotland, and early notices of m, 131; plan (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1281.


Anderson, J, 1883, Scotland in pagan times: the iron age: the Rhind lectures in archaeology for 1881, 223; plan, illust (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG1899.


Anderson, J, 1901, 'Notices of nine Brochs along the Caithness coast from Keiss Bay to Skirza Head, excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry, Bart., MP., of Keiss Castle, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 35 1900-1, p.112-48, 112 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1296.


RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 149-51, No. 509; plan (Text/Report). SHG2664.


Curle, A O, 1912, 'Excavation of a galleried structure at Langwell, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 46 1911-12, p.77-89, 87-8 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG730.


MacKie, E W, 1975, Scotland: an archaeological guide: from the earliest times to the twelfth century, 227-8 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2472.


Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 168-9, No. 97 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

Related Monument/Building records

MHG42399Parent of: Broch, Loch of Yarrows (Monument)
MHG42400Parent of: Broch, Loch of Yarrows (Monument)

Related Investigations - none

Related documents/files/web pages

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