MHG1031 - Promontory Fort, Neck of Brough


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • PROMONTORY FORT (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Fort (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

Broch (site of): Mr Banks (J Banks, Thurso), an old and very intelligent man, and Mr Cairncross (J Cairncross, Thurso), inform me that this place was once fortified, and that it is not many years since portions of the fortifications were visible - in fact cropping stones may now be seen here and there, similar to those at the Old Camp at Holburn Head (ND17SW 1).
Name Book 1872.

An L-shaped, cliff-girt promontory fort angling round to lie parallel with the mainland from which it is separated by a deep geo. Along the landward edge is a grass-covered bank from which traces of dry-stone walling protrude. The isthmus, which is lower, has been wave-scoured to bare rock and no defensive features survive. No other structures are visible on the promontory.
RCAHMS 1911; R G Lamb 1980; Visited by OS (N K B) 22 October 1964.

The only approach to the promontory is from SW by an isthmus 2m max width. The lightly built, turf-covered wall, 0.5m high and 1.5m broad, stretching 56m along S edge of the promontory crowns a sheer cliff and is superfluous as a defence. There is no indication that it continued across the isthmus, though it is probable that it has been eroded away.
The remains appear to be of considerable antiquity, but the light build and position of wall do not suggest an Iron Age fortification. It is possible that this has been a Celtic monastic settlement, the wall being a demarcation rather than a defence (cf. NC46NW 4 & 5). Visited by OS (N K B) 19 August 1981.

A promontory fort, 70m NW-SE by 45m, comprising a grass-covered slab wall, 1.3m high, running along edge of the geo. There are hut circles nearby.
R J Mercer 1981.

Features on isthmus, probably removed by wave scour.
R Lamb 1981 (see archive).

The site is included in the Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland online database. See link below for site entry. <1>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 0609 7094 (100m by 100m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND07SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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