MHG2134 - Broch, Kettleburn


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Broch of Kettleburn stood about a mile NW of Wick and 1/4 mile from N bank of the river; its remains were removed by agricultural operations in 1853 but before they were cleared the site was excavated by Rhind. The diameter of the mound on which broch stood was about 120ft, but only fragments of broch remained (it had been surrounded by a boundary wall 3ft thick and 3ft high) because a small cottage, which stands in its immediate neighbourhood, was built entirely from its ruins. In interior was a drain and a built well reached by steps; this well is still used as the water supply for the cottars who live in house close by, constructed of stones removed from site (Anderson 1883). The relics include a pair of bronze tweezers (late Celtic design), a bone comb, stone balls, discs, whetstones, pieces of querns, fragments of coarse unornamented pottery, iron implements, human remains and osseous remains of bos longifrons, deer, whale and seal. These relics form first collection made from systematic excavation of a broch and are now in NMAS.
(OS 25" map, {1871} shows well at this site and cottages as roofed).
A H Rhind 1853; 1855; J Anderson 1866; 1883; RCAHMS 1911.

ND 3497 5192. No trace of a broch exists at site. The area, now grazing land, has been ploughed and mound on which the broch stood almost completely levelled. Only on N side is there any evidence of a mound, in the form of a scarp, 1m high, but, as a hollow runs NW-SE on this side it is possible that scarp is a natural slope. There is no trace of the well described above, and only the footings remains of the cottages mentioned.
Visited by OS (E G C) 21 April 1962.

Kettleburn Broch (NR) (site of) OS 6" map, (1968)

A ploughed-down broch as described in previous field report. Edging N exterior of site is an even-sided curved depression, at most pronounced 18m broad and 1m deep, which may be the course of a defensive ditch.
Visited by OS (J M) 26 July 1982.

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> <2>

Finds in the NMS, acquired 1854 from A. H. Rhind, include hammerstones, plain stone balls, pebbles, whetstones, stone cups, stone discs (pot lids), stone whorls, bone balls probably for pin heads, one with iron pin remaining, weaving combs, miniature bone comb, bone handles, bone points, pottery sherds, bronze tweezers, fragments of bronze and iron implements, lower parts of quern stones, and bones and/or teeth from pigs, horses, dogs, ox , goat, deer, rats, fish and seals, and a human tooth (GI 1-GI 83). <3>

Sources/Archives (9)



Grid reference Centred ND 3497 5191 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND35SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (19)

  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • WHETSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • QUERN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • BALL (RITUAL) (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • PIN (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HAMMERSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • HANDLE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • POINT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • SHERD (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • WORKED OBJECT (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • WEAVING COMB (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • LAMP (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • COMB (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • DISC (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • CUP (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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