MHG1893 - Broch, Hill of Works


Site of broch.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Broch, 'Hill of Works'. Diameter: 70m. Excavated monument 2m high with much facing visible. Entrance lies on WSW.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Hill of Works broch, which is becoming increasingly obscured by vegetation, is as described by previous authorities except that the scarcement in S is now evident, with top of broch's outer face above it visible as a slight change of slope.
Visited by OS (JB) 6 May 1982

Hill of Works (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6" map (1970)

The Hill of Works broch, situated in a small copse, is generally as described above. The steps to well are no longer discernible, and only vague traces of concentric wall, 1m from broch, can still be seen. No traces of scarcement around S periphery of broch could be found. Outside the ditch in N, there is a semicircular earthen bank, 0.8m high. Immediately S of broch are several heaps of stones, probably spoil from the excavated site.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (NKB) 15 September 1965

Hill of Works broch has an internal diam of 29ft and a wall thickness of c13 ft and has apparently had no guard chamber. It stands to a max height of 4ft in interior and 2ft 6 ins on exterior.
In central court is a well, to which steps descend, and portions of flags protrude through covering of vegetation. A secondary wall projects from internal wall of broch at end of entrance passage.
A concentric wall runs around three-quarters of circumference of broch, at distance of 3-4ft, terminating on WSW and SSE at ends of approaching passges. The remaining segment has been faced with a scarcement.
At a distance of 26ft from broch on N and 50ft on S is an encircling ditch c45ft wide. It survives to depth of 10 ft on N, is less well defined on S, and has disappeared on W.
The broch was excavataed by Sir Francis Tress Barry in 1900, producing fragments of coarse hand-made pottery, some of which, together with other finds from broch, are in NMAS. Lying on floor of mural chamber were remains of 2 skeletons. The area between broch and ditch does not appear to have been explored.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1904; 1909

This site was included in Mackie's 2007 'The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700 BC - AD 500: Architecture and material culture'. See link below to HES Canmore record which includes the chapter on this site. <1>

Finds in the NMS from the Broch of Barrock or Hill of Works Broch include: a ring, 4 whorls, a stone vessel/cup and pottery sherds (GA 828-832, 401, 401a-b). A restored vessel is also listed under 2014.365, and may have been re-accession under GA 1390 but this need checking. <2>

Human remains from the site are within NMS collections. <3>

There are finds from Barrock Broch listed in the Caithness Horizons accession catalogue. These include a plain carved stone ball, pot lids, pounder and polishers and cooking pottery. <4>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 2903 6254 (80m by 92m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND26SE
Civil Parish BOWER
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (10)

  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • RING (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • CUP (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Early Iron Age to Early Medieval - 550 BC? to 1057 AD?)
  • STONE BALL (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • VESSEL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • DISC (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • POUNDER (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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