MHG1496 - Possible Broch, Castlehill


Possible remains of Iron Age broch. The current condition of the monument makes classification difficult.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Broch lies on high point adjacent to coast path which it abuts. Ploughing up to circumference, overgrown with weeds on top. Gate post to W along the coast lane may be a reused lintel or similar . Photos- HAW 7/2003

The mound, probably remains of a broch, is as described by the previous field investigator.
Visited by OS (J B) 2 November 1981.

Broch (NR) (remains of) Viking Burial found AD 1786 (NAT) OS 6" map, (1970)

This artificial, grass-covered, conical mound, which measures 19m E-W by 13m transversely and 2.7m high, contains many protruding stone slabs and has been mutilated on N side by construction of a wall and track and by ploughing along S side. It may have been a broch but its present condition makes classification difficult.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 16 February 1965.

This grassy mound, which contains ruins of a broch, has been robbed to some extent from S. The remaining portion is some 54ft diameter and 7ft high.
A skeleton, accompanied by a pair of 10th century (Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum 1951) Norse tortoise or oval brooches, a jet armlet 3ins in diameter, and a bone pin 8cm long, was found September 1786 on top of this mound, buried under a flat stone with very little earth above it. One of the brooches is in the National Museum of Copenhagen, while the other relics are in NMAS (Acc Nos: IL 222, FN 2 & FN 3 respectively). RCAHMS 1911; J Anderson 1874; 1878; Archaeol Scot 1831; NMAS 1892; S Grieg 1940; Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum 1951.

ND16 1 CASTLEHILL ND/1936 6876
Possible broch in Olrig, Caithness, consisting of a grassy mound with many protruding stone slabs; it has been robbed on the south. A Norse burial was found on top of the mound in 1786, with two 10th century brooches, a jet armlet and a bone pin (7.6cm long) [2, 3 and 5].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 16 NE 11: 2. Anderson 1874, 549-50: 3. Anderson 1878, 329-30: 4. RCAHMS 1911b, 87, no. 320: 5. Greig 1940, 2, 23-4: 6. Mercer 1981, 156, no. 530: 7. Anderson 1890, 184. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred ND 1937 6876 (22m by 19m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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