MHG1114 - Broch, Rinsary


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1964)

'High above Berriedale Water on its N bank and about 1/4 ml W of Berriedale Church are the ruins of a broch. The structure much dilapidated and reduced to the lowest courses of masonry on the exterior. In one or two places the outer face of the wall, formed of very large stones, is exposed. The diameter over all is 54ft and the elevation to the top of the conical mound surmounting the ruins, 7 to 8ft. The posituon is flanked on the W by the side of a deep glen, and in front by the high, steep bank of the Berriedale valley.'
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

This site is generally as described above. The thickness of the broch wall and the internal diameter could not be determined due to the heavy mutilation of the site and the mass of rubble that has been piled up in the interior, to give a maximum height of 3.0m. The overall diameter of the broch has been 16.0m, as measured between the exposed wall faces.
A kiln (ND12SW 4.01) has been built into SW segment, and other structures of a depopulated settlement are adjacent to the site.
Visited by OS (J L D) 15 June 1960.

A broch as described above. Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R L) 7 March 1968.

No change. Visited by OS (J M) 24 November 1982.

ND12 2 BERRIEDALE 2 ('Rinsary', 'Berriedale Water 1', 'Berriedale Church') ND/1168 2335
Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, high above the Berriedale Water, and consisting of a conical mound 2.1-2.4m (7-8ft) high containing a very dilapidated circular building; the lowest course of the curved outer wallface is visible in places. The overall diameter is 16.5m (54ft) . On the west is the side of a steep glen and in front is the steep side of the Berriedale valley. A later survey gives the building a diameter of 15.0m on the basis of the outer wallface, which can be traced for more than half its circumference [3]. A later farm-stead, now abandoned, has been built round the broch and one building has been dug into it.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 12 SW 4: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 56, no. 205: 3. S. Carter in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1999, 57. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 1167 2335 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND12SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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