MHG1490 - Broch, Cnoc Donn


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Cnoc Donn (Brough) (NR) OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

Broch, Cnoc Donn: The remains of this broch lie about 0.5 mile ESE of Dale farm. A grassy mound rising some 6 to 7ft in height above surrounding level is cut off from moorland by a ditch passing southward from NE to SW and varying from 60 to 66ft in width. Crowning the scarp has been a wall or rampart forming a parapet still some 3 to 4ft in height on the inside and 9 to 10ft in elevation above the bottom of the ditch. Above counterscarp has also been a mound, now some 12-14ft wide at base and separated from the edge of ditch by a berm some 7ft wide. Its greatest height is some 7ft above bottom of ditch. Between parapet and central mound which covers buildings is a level area some 15-20ft in breadth, except on W, where it appears to have been broken down. The central mound measures some 86ft from N-S by 73ft transversely, and has an elevation above terrace at its base of 6-7ft. There has been an approach and entrance through rampart from NW. The top of mound is pitted with numerous depressions and a portion of it towards E has at some time been removed. Beyond ends of the ditch the surrounding ground is, in places, marshy and numerous sheep drains suggest that in former times it was more so.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910

The remains of the broch are as described above.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (E G C) 16 April 1962

(ND 1400 5329) Cnoc Donn (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1963)

Cnoc Donn applies to the turf-covered remains of a broch and associated outworks, generally as described by RCAHMS except that causewayed approach is from SW. Vestiges of an old field bank or wall the broch-mound.
Visited by OS (J M) 25 November 1981

'Broch', 'Cnoc Donn'. Dimensions: 22 x 20m. Grassy mound 2m high surrounded by a ditch and entered from the SW.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995.

This monument is a broch (Cnoc Donn) which survives as a group of turf-covered earthworks, central mound standing c 2.5m high. The broch is protected by bank and ditch on its E side. The ditch survives c 20m wide and the bank stands c 3m above its base.
Info from Historic Scotland, scheduling doc dated 28 2 1997.

ND/1400 5330
Possible broch in Halkirk, Caithness, consisting of a grassy mound 1.8-2.1m (6-7ft) high on level ground with strong outer defences; the mound seems to be on top of a platform. The whole is partly surrounded by a ditch preserved from north-east southward to south-west and from 18.3-20.1m (60-66ft) wide. A parapet or wall 90-120cm (3-4ft) high on the inside runs along the inner edge of this and there is also an encircling mound beyond the ditch, separated from it by a berm 2.1m (7ft) wide. There is a causewayed approach through these outer defences on the south-west [1], and the ground beyond the ditch ends may formerly have been more marshy than it is now [1]. The plan shows no masonry [3].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 15 SW 5: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 32, no. 103: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 658 and plan. <1>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred ND 1400 5330 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND15SW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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