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 (3)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • (Alternate Type) HUT CIRCLE (Neolithic to Late Iron Age - 4000 BC to 560 AD)

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.

1 BELL MOUNT ND/0936 7035
Possible broch or cairn, in Thurso, Caithness, consisting of scanty remains on top of a knoll. No masonry is visible and it has been suggested that this is the remains of a cairn [1] or a hut circle [3].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 07 SE 2: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 119, no. 431: 3. Mercer 1981, no. 444 and fig. 41: 4. Anderson 1873, 184.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 0936 7035 (40m by 42m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND07SE
Civil Parish THURSO
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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