MHG1098 - Broch - An Dun


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

An Dun (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1964)

Broch, 'An Dun': On top of the steep banks in angle between the Allt an Duin and Berriedale Water, stands the ruins of a broch. The tower occupies the centre of a hillock and has been encircled at its base by a ditch, 16ft width and some 6ft depth on SW, but less well defined on the other portion of the periphery. The entrance, which has been from the W, is 2ft 6ins in width but is much broken down. On left of the passage has been a guard chamber, the back of which is visible at 14ft back from the wall of the passage. The diameter of broch overall has been 46ft, and thickness of its wall, 11ft. The greatest height of wall exposed on both faces is about 3ft. To SW of entrance, a break in the counterscarp of the ditch gives access to a small circular enclosure dug out of the bank with a diameter of c11ft. Visited 1910. <1>

The broch was Scheduled in 1939.

Generally as described by RCAHMS, broch now in v dilapidated condition, and is some 14m in diameter over walls about 3.7m thick, now reduced to 1m in height. The interior is a mass of rubble. On NE side there are traces of possibly three ditches, but the N and E segments have been mutilated by later crofting activities. A small compartment, measuring some 5.6 by 4m, has been dug out of the enclosing bank, SW of entrance.
Visited by OS (W D J) 4 July 1960.

An Dun, a broch with outer defences, as described.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (N K B) 9 November 1982.

ND12 1 BERRIEDALE 1 ('An Dun', 'Berriedale Water 3', 'Allt an Duin 3')
ND/1033 2492
Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, standing in a prominent position on the moor, on top of steep banks between the junction of two burns, the Berriedale Water and Allt an Duin. It stands on the centre of a hillock which is encircled by an outer ditch 4.88m (16ft) wide and 1.83m (6ft) deep; on the north-east side there are traces of possibly three ditches [1]. The main entrance is on the west but cannot now be measured; in 1910 it was recorded as 76cm (2ft 6in) wide [2]. A guard cell on its left is apparent of which the back wall is visible 4.27m (14ft) from the passage. The greatest height of wall visible is 90cm (3ft). The interior is now a mass of rubble [1]. The external diameter is 14.0m (46ft) (except-ionally small, unless the wall is still standing to a considerable height, which seems unlikely) and the wall is about 3.36m (11ft) thick; the internal diameter is thus probably about 7.3m (24ft) and the wall proportion c. 47.8%.
Sources: 1 NMRS site no. ND 12 SW 10, with sketch plan: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 54, no. 203. <2>

The Scheduling was amended by Historic Environment Scotland in 2016 to include a larger area. <3>

GIS spatial data amended in 2018 according to location on OS MasterMap. <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 1033 2491 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND12SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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