MHG2204 - Broch with cist - Brownaban


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • BURIAL (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?)
  • LONG CIST (Early Medieval - 561 AD? to 1057 AD?)
  • BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Broch (NR) OS1:10,000 map, (1976)

The remains of a broch, excavated by Anderson and Shearer about 1871 and partly restored. The outer face of the wall has not been laid bare but inner face has been rebuilt to an even height of about 5ft and the interior is in use as a garden. The main entrance has been from east, through a passage 14ft long, with no guard chamber and no signs of door checks. A long cist partly of flags and partly built containing a skeleton was found in the interior, and some small finds from broch are in NMAS.
RCAHMS 1911; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1873; H Dryden 1871.

This broch is generally as described by RCAHMS: the interior is in use as a sheepfold. Modern walling has sealed entrances to galleries on the N and S.
Resurveyed at 1/2500. Visited by OS (R L) 19 April 1967.

The remains of this broch are situated in low-lying ground 30m E of an 18th century farmsteading (ND34SW 77). The broch, which was excavated in the 19th century, measures 8.5m in diameter within a wall that stands 1.5m in height, though it has evidently been partly reconstructed, and the entrances to intra-mural chambers on the N, W and S have been blocked. The outer face of the wall is masked by grass-grown rubble, but there is an entrance passage on the E measuring 0.95m in width and 2.7m in length. There are no door checks or bar-slots in this passage, which prompted Mercer to suggest (1985, 262-3, no. 230) that it was of relatively modern date and that the original entrance lay on the S. Dryden's plan of the site suggests that there was, indeed, an entrance on the S, with a gallery leading off its E side and a stair off its W. Although each of the chambers has been excavated, they have remained open and details of their construction are now hidden by collapsed rubble and vegetation. On the date of visit the interior was choked with nettles and no internal features were noted.
The 'chamber' depicted on Dryden's plan is situated outside the S side of the broch and is apparently built into the rubble of its collapse. It comprises three stones, two of them squat upright slabs set 1.3m apart, and the third an earth-fast stone. Its date and purpose are unknown.
(YARROWS04 368)
Visited by RCAHMS (JRS), 30 June 2004.

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 include hammerstones, stone discs and a stone mortar. They are listed under Acc. Nos. AK 151, GA 93-104. Acquired in 1871. <1>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 3231 4348 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND34SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (4)

  • HAMMERSTONE (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • DISC (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • POUNDER (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
  • VESSEL (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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