MHG10772 - Broch, Achcoillenaborgie


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Type and Period (1)

  • BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Achcoillenaborgie, NC75NW0002

Brochs are round, tower-like houses, their monumental size intended to display the wealth and status of the agricultural communities who lived in them. They were occupied in the later Iron Age and occur frequently in the north and west of Scotland. (41)

The broch is today severely denuded, surviving only as a large, flattened mound of stones, with slight traces of chambers built within the thickness of the original wall visible. It sits on a low knoll, which has been surrounded by a ditch and bank, where the approach to the broch was easiest. (51)

Achoillenaborgie lies on the very edge of a high river terrace, one of several brochs strung out at roughly equal distances along the fertile floodplain of Strathnaver. Its presence has resulted in the name of the adjacent farm: ‘field of the wood of the fort’. (46)


Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.

Gourlay, R., 1996. Sutherland. An Archaeological Guide. Edinburgh: Birlinn.

RCAHMS. 1911. Sutherland. Edinburgh: HMSO, 61, No. 183.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

(NC 7139 5942) Broch (NR) OS 6"map, (1964)

The denuded remains of a broch, 28 feet diameter within a wall 14 feet thick, with an entrance in north. The walls of a chamber lie 8 feet west of the passage and the remains of buildings lie outside. RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The remains of a broch, set on a low knoll and generally as described by RCAHMS except that the north segment is now severely denuded and the entrance passage is no longer visible although the chamber survives. In the north arc of the interior are traces of a dry-stone chamber, partly built into the broch wall. To the SW of the broch lies a circular rubble-walled enclosure, 7.2m in diameter with no visible entrance, whose period is uncertain.
Remains of a ditch, partly accompanied by an outer bank, curve round the broch on the north and west and are probably a contemporary defence, protecting the easier approach.
Visited by OS (J L D) 27 April 1960.

The broch is as described by previous OS investigator.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (I S S) 9 July 1971.

The broch and its outer defence are generally as described by previous OS investigators, the remains are obscured by tumble, and mutilated by stone robbing and the insertion of later structures. Visited by OS (J B) 10 July 1977.

The site of the broch was visited by Highland Archaeology Services in 2007 during a walkover survey in advance of a proposed windfarm development to the northeast. It was found to be much as prevously described. It lay outside the main development area but was adjacent to a potential point of access to the windfarm. <1>

Broch, Achcoillenaborgie (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG10007.

Broch, Achcoillenaborgie (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG10024.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4832.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4833.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4834.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4835.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4836.

Untitled Source (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG4837.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Second report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Sutherland, 61, No. 183 (Text/Report). SHG2657.

<1> Wood, J., 2007, Bettyhill Wind Farm Environmental Statement: Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Baseline Survey, p.21 W24 (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG25702.

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NC 7138 5941 (70m by 70m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NC75NW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (3)

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