MHG1041 - Site of Possible Cairn or Broch, Bell Mount


Site of turf covered mound that has been variously interpretted as a cairn, broch and hut circle.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) BROCH (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Bell Mount. Picts House (remains of) on 1st ed OS - HAW 10/2004

A grass-covered hut circle, comprising a subcircular enclosure, 14.5 by 13 by 0.5m high, with depressions and mounds.
R J Mercer 1981.

Bell Mount is as described by previous OS field investigator and lacks any distinguishing features to enable positive classification. However, the position on a prominent eminence and absence of any visible large stones, in situ or loose, suggests a cairn rather than a broch.
Visited by OS (N K B) 19 August 1976.

The 'Bell Mount' is a small, turf-covered mound of earth and stones measuring about 20m diameter overall, with an average height of 1.2m. Its flattish top has a diameter of about 8m. Two small modern mutilations are on its N edge. It is more likely that this is the remains of a cairn and not a broch.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (W D J) 16 April 1962.

Broch, 'Bell Mount' is on top of an eminence in a grass park. The remains are now of slight elevation and over-grown with turf; it appears to be c54ft diameter though none of structure is visible.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Bell Mount (Brough) (NR) OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

In a list of brochs: 'Parish of Thurso, Scrabster, in a field above Scrabster. The "Orkneyinga Saga" mentions a borg at Skarabolstad (Scrabster) in which Bishop John was mutilated by Earl Harold's men.' (But this Saga reference could apply equally to an early version of castle noted on ND16NW 3.)
J Anderson 1973.

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, 184 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1281.

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, 119, No. 431 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Mercer, R J, 1981, Archaeological field survey in northern Scotland: volume II, 1980-81, 61, 91, 149, No. 444; map, plan (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG2511.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 0936 7035 (40m by 42m)
Map sheet ND07SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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