MHG1290 - Broch, Tulach Mor


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Tulach Mor (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1963)

Broch, Tulach Mor: On a rock rising from edge of right bank of the Thurso River, about 2 miles above Westerdale, are the remains of a broch. Like broch of Carn na Mairg (ND15SW 22) it has been defended by a ditch of varying width, best preserved towards NE, the bottom of which is counterscarp. On NE, between top of the scarp and base of broch, there has existed a terrace some 20ft in width, diminishing in breadth as it approaches base of the tower on either side. At edge of this terrace, there has been a wall or parapet crowning scarp. The diameter of tower appears to have been about 54ft. On side above river, portions of walling appear at one or two places, suggesting that wall has either been greatly increased in thickness on that side, or that there has been building on the bank below to give stability to foundations. On side above river benk inner end of a chamber is visible, curving towards the S. A considerable amount of quarrying has taken place into the face of the terrace on the E side.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of this broch and its outworks are generally as described by the RCAHMS. The diameter of tower would appear to have been about 19m, but remains are too indefinite for measurement. The inner end of chamber referred to by RCAHMS can be seen in S quadrant, and a portion of walling can also be seen on the side of the mound below the chamber.
Visited by OS (W D J) 12 April 1961.

No change. Visited by OS (J B) 22 February 1982.

ND14 4 TULACH MOR ('Tormsdale 2')
ND/1485 4940 (visited in 1984)
This possible broch in Halkirk, Caith-ness, is a prominent mound standing on a rock rising from the edge of the right (east) bank of the river Thurso, about 2 miles above Westerdale. Defended on one side (the south-west) by the river and a sheer rock face, it is protected elsewhere by a ditch of varying width, best preserved on the north-east and now up to 1.8m (6ft) deep. On the same side is a terrace about 6m (20ft) wide, diminishing in breadth as it approaches the base of the mound on either side; there has been a wall or parapet at the edge of this terrace, crowning the scarp.
An outer face is visible on the south and the west-south-west and suggests a dia-meter of about 19.0m (62.3ft) [1] or 16.5m (54ft) [2]. The top of the mound contains a saucer-shaped depression re-sembling the filled-in court of a broch [3]. The inner end of an intra-mural chamber seems to be visible in the south quadrant but Swanson says that “it does not respect the line of the broch wall, and is open at both ends” [3]. There has been much quarrying into the face of the terrace on the east side. This mound is typical of a Caithness broch on a platform with an outer ditch that there can be little doubt as to its nature.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 14 NW 2 (with plan and photograph): 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 34, no. 108: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 678-80 and plan. <1>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 1484 4939 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND14NW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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