MHG1227 - Broch, Green Tullochs


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

During the partial destruction of the broch about 1815, a human skeleton was found, laid close to wall of tower, covered by a flagstone, loosely set on edge in the ground and leaning against the wall.
J Anderson 1873; J Miller 1865. <1>,<2>

(A: ND 0131 6964; B: ND 0122 6958) Green Tullochs (NR) (Broughs) (NR) (For 'B' - a cairn - see ND 06 NW 23.)
OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

A: The ruins of this broch appear as a penannular ring of slaty fragments some 12ft high, with interior comparatively clear. The ring has been undermined by erosion on NE destroying the entrance. At several places outer and inner faces of the wall are visible under the debris, giving a wall thickness of 14-15ft and an interior diameter of 43ft. The tower appears to have been encircled, 2ft 7ins from its base (sic), by a wall 4ft 9ins thick. The remains of a further encircling bank, apparently surmounted by a wall, with a ditch 18ft wide and now 4ft deep with a low counterscarp bank, can be seen some 22ft to seaward on the NE side of the broch wall.
RCAHMS 1911. <3>

The broch remains as a grass-covered circular enclosure 2.7m maximum height, strewn with large numbers of rubble stones. It has been destroyed in the N by coastal erosion revealing the outer wall face. It is partially encircled by two grass-covered banks and a medial ditch 0.5m deep. The inner bank, maximum height 1.4m is complete except in the N, where it has been eroded. The outer bank, 1.0m high, is less prominent and has disappeared completely in the N and SW segments. In the S and SE these outer ramparts are cut by three entrances, apparently original.
Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 4 November 1964.

(ND 0131 6964) Broch (NR)
OS 6"map, (1969)

This broch with outworks is generally as described by the previous authorities. A depression in the broch wall in the W may represent the entrance. The innermost wall described by the RCAHMS could not be identified. Traces of the medial ditch or counterscarp bank are visible continuously around the perimeter except in the N where erosion has taken place. The suggested entrances probably originated during the robbing of the broch.
Revised at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (J B) 10 September 1981.

A broch, 13m internal diameter, 24 by 20m externally, and 3m high, surrounded at a distance of 6m by a bank 3.5m thick; with a wall, 2m thick, running 4m outside this.
R J Mercer 1981. <4>

ND06 4 GREEN TULLOCHS ND/0131 6964
This probable broch in Reay, Caith-ness, is situated on the edge of cliffs from which a narrow geo (cleft) has eaten away part of the structure on the north-east. The same cleft has exposed the cross-section of an earthen bank about 20m to the seaward of the site. A surface survey of the site was carried out in 1980 [4]. The broch was partially destroyed in about 1815 and a human skeleton was found under a flagstone leaning against the circular wallface [2].
The outer and inner faces of the broch wall are visible in places, suggesting an inner diameter of 13.1m (43ft) and a wall thickness of 4.27-4.58m (14-15ft). A depression on the west may be the broch entrance.
There appears to be a wall 1.45m (4ft 9in) thick surrounding the broch only 78cm (2ft 7in) from its base [3]; the remains of an outer wall are suspected on the north-east [4]. A double outer rampart surrounds the broch at a distance of 8-10m from it, and the structure may sit on an earlier mound [4].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 06 NW 18: 2. Anderson 1873, 185: 3. RCAHMS 1911a, 93-4, no. 348: 4. Mercer 1981, 79 and 139, no. 326 and 80, fig. 32. <5>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 0131 6964 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND06NW
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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