MHG12460 - Broch, Langdale Burn


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Langdale Burn, Strathnaver, NC64SE0001
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 N and W of Scotland. (41)
This broch occupies a very commanding position on a ridge above the Langdale Burn. Like many of the brochs in Strathnaver, its location allows it to dominate both the fertile strath below it and the extensive area of level ground, now above the limit of cultivation, stretching away behind it to the west. (53)
Today, the broch appears as a mound of very large stones, with the inner face of the drystone wall visible around the entire circuit. The entrance passage and a possible guard chamber are also identifiable. (35)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
Gourlay, R., 1996. Sutherland. An Archaeological Guide. Edinburgh: Birlinn.
RCAHMS. 1911. Sutherland. Edinburgh: HMSO, 59-60, No. 177.
Information from SCRAN Project, March 2000.

(NC 6926 4496) Broch (NR) OS 6"map, (1961)
The remains of a broch occupying a commanding position on a ridge above Langdale Burn. It has been built of large stones and has a diameter of about 31ft within a wall 15ft to 17ft thick. The inner face is exposed for a max height of 3ft. The entrance, 3ft wide at the outer end, is from the W, its S wall surviving to a height of 3ft 6ins and incorporating a built door-check.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The broch is reduced to a tumbled mass of stone 1.5m high, but the internal wall face is traceable around almost the whole circuit. The external face is less apparent except on the W, where the entrance passage 1m wide can be seen. Internally the broch meausres 9.5m N-S by 8.7m transversely, with the wall 4.1-5m thick. Crude facing on the N side of the entrance may indicate a guard chamber.
Visited by OS (J L D) 7 May 1960 and (J B) 7 August 1978.

Tongue/Farr Local Plan, Oct 1995: P6/1.24.
J Aitken : 11/06/01.

NC64 1 LANGDALE BURN (‘Lang-dale’)
NC/6926 4496
This broch stands on a steep, conical rock knoll next to the Langdale Burn (a quarter mile from the river Naver), with a more shallow slope on the upstream side (visited 11/7/63). There is a modern farm nearby and the site has a good outlook in all directions [3].
The entrance is on the west, facing upstream, and is about 4.58m (15ft) long and 91cm (3ft) wide at the outer end. A built door-check on the right (south) is 91cm (3ft) from the inner end and all the lintels have been displaced. There may be a rebate for an outer doorway in the ruined left wall, 1.3m from the exterior [3], so this broch may have had two doors in its entrance passage. There are signs of the upper part of a round mural cell at about 7 o'clock and this may be a guard cell on the left of the passage. The broch is full of debris so that the inner and outer wallfaces are mostly obscured. There are signs of a mural gallery on the wallhead at about 5 o'clock; this is probably an upper one since it seems to be above the level where the entrance lintels should be.
Dimensions: interior diameter 9.15m (30ft: author's measurement): wall 4.58m (15ft) thick at the entrance and 4.88-5.l9m (16-17ft) on the south side [2]: assuming an average thickness of 4.88m (16ft) the external diameter would be about 18.91m (62ft) and the wall proportion approximately 51%. Swanson gives the internal north/south diameter as 9.4m [3].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 64 SE 1: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 59-60, no. 177: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 739-41 and plan. <1>

Sources/Archives (16)



Grid reference Centred NC 6925 4496 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC64SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish FARR

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