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.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 32, No. 103 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Wordsworth J, 1997, An Archaeological Survey of a proposed plantation at Dale Farm, Halkirk, Caithness (Text/Report/Fieldwork Report). SHG20984.

Wordsworth, J, 1997, Archaeological Survey of Proposed Woodland at Dale Farm, Halkirk, Caithness (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2947.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 1400 5330 (70m by 70m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND15SW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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