MHG1265 - Broch, Balantrath


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1962)

Situated on a rock on left bank of the Dunbeath Water, just opposite the debouchment of the Achorn Burn, are the ruins of a broch. As far as can be ascertained, the diameter over all has been some 60ft. The greatest elevation, which is on the side distant from the river, is 9 or 10ft. On this side a trench appears to have been cut, isolating the portion of the rock on which the broch stands from the bank in rear of it.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910. <1>

All that remains of this broch is a large mound of earth and stone situated on edge of a short vertical cliff. The mound measures approx 23m NW-SE by 15m transversely and is some 3m high; a low mound of earth & stone (0.4m high) protrudes SW from broch mound for a distance of about 10m. There is a considerable amount of loose stone on top of the mound, and a stretch of outer wall of the broch, about 2m long and 0.8m high, is exposed. Traces of the ditch can be seen on NE and SE sides.
Visited by OS (W D J) 27 June 1960.

As described above. Surveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R L) 14 March 1968.

The remains of a broch are generally as described by the previous authorities except that there is little loose stone now to be seen. The protruding mound noted on SW is side of an old quarry hollow. Visited by OS (J M) 26 August 1982.

ND13 2 BALLENTRATH (‘Balan-trath’, 'Dunbeath Water')
ND/1439 3072
Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, in the shape of a quarried mound standing on a rock on the left bank of the Dunbeath Water, just opposite the junction with the Achorn Burn. A stretch of curved outer wallface about 2.0m long is exposed at one point and the greatest height of the mound, away from the river, is 2.75-3.05m (9-10 ft) [1]. Traces of the ditch have been reported on the north-east and south-east sides but Swanson says that there is nothing to be seen [3]. There a few courses of what may be an outer wall are showing on the north-west and again on the west-south-west [3]. The appearance of the site is of a broch mound on top of an artificial platform [3]. Swanson’s plan shows no significant masonry apart from the wallface.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 13 SW 6: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 58, no. 213: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 697-99 and plan. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 1439 3072 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND13SW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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