MHG1838 - Broch - Rhianrivach


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Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Broch (NR) (remains of) OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

The remains of a broch, now represented by a grassy mound about 8ft high and 60ft in diameter.
A slight mound encircles the broch at a short distance from its base, and beyond this, towards the W, there are indications of outbuildings. RCAHMS 1911. <1>

The site was Scheduled in 1939.

The remains of broch as described above. There are also vague traces of outbuildings between broch and outer mound, on W.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 11 May 1967.

No change. Visited by OS (J M) 23 March 1983.

06-MAR-1992 Standing adjacent to the Osclay to Swiney minor road, the broch has overall measurements of 43m W-E, 36m N-S and remains 2.5m high. The broch is turf-covered. The tops of several upright stones are to be seen protruding through the turf, particularly along the W flank. There are two areas where the monument appears to have been disturbed. In the W section, what may be a part of the broch wall has been uncovered, 1.5m long, with just the tops of the stones showing. In the SE section it would appear that stone has been removed from the monument at some earlier date, and there is rubble scattered around in this area. The central area of the monument contains several irregular grass-covered mounds. There is not enough visible evidence to estimate the broch diameter or wall width. A wire and post fence crosses the S flank of the monument, with a little over 1m of the broch jutting out S of the fence. There is stone/rubble visible in this area. 3m to the NE of the monument lies an area of agricultural debris, old implements, rubble, rusted wire etc. The road lies 2m to the E of the broch. The surrounding grassland is improved on a regular basis and is grazed by sheep. There are mole-hills on and around the monument. The scheduled area should be enlarged to cover a 10m band of land around the monument.

4-AUG-1998, AC The site lies immediately adjacent to the W of the Osclay to Swiney minor road. The monument, a broch, is now a grass-covered mound. There appears to be an outer lower mound, with the main body of the broch sitting on this. On the SE side there are two depressed areas, but there is no way of identifying their exact relationship to the main part of the broch. There were a number of visible stones and a few areas of erosion, possibly caused in the winter. The site was covered with long grass on the day of the visit, and much of the stone seen on the previous visit was hidden. On the day of the visit the field had not been grazed for some time, and it is possible that when the field is grazed the grass is much shorter. There was some agricultural dumping on the side of the field, probably outwith the scheduled area. The site seems to be in a reasonable condition, but the erosion may need monitoring.

ND23 2 ACHOW (‘Rhianvarich’) ND/2303 3617
Possible broch consisting of a grassy mound c. 2.4m (8ft) high and 18m (60ft) in diameter. There are slight traces of a mound or bank encircling the broch mound a short distance from its base, and traces of outbuildings between the two features and on west.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 23 NW 3: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 57, no. 208 <2>

A watching brief was carried out by Highland Archaeology Services in 2008 during the excavations for a new water main in close proximity to the west side of the broch. No archaeological finds or features were recorded. <3>

The site was re-scheduled by Historic Environment Scotland in 2016 to better reflect its extent and area of importance. <4> <5>

The GIS spatial data was amended in 2017 according to its position on OS MasterMap. <6>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 2304 3618 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND23NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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