MHG2272 - Broch - Bruan


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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 6" map, (1971)

A robbed broch represented by a turf-covered stony mound about 10ft high and 50ft in diameter, surrounded at a distance of about 31ft, by a wall about 4.5ft high which stands on the inner lip of a ditch about 28ft broad and 3.5ft deep from the top of the counterscarp. Except on the W, the ditch has been almost destroyed by cultivation.
RCAHMS 1911; R W Feachem 1963.

The broch was Scheduled in 1934.

A broch, as described. The outer wall-face is visible in the S arc as a single, disconnected course of heavy stone. Ground disturbance and protruding upright slabs in the berm to the W of the broch indicate the presence of outbuildings. No name is known locally.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 3 May 1967.

ND33 1 BROUAN 1 (‘Bruan 1’)
ND/3102 3949
Possible broch in Latheron, Caithness, consisting of a conspicuous turf-covered, stony mound about 3.05m (10ft) high and 4.58m (50ft) in diameter (Illus. 7.079); the outer wall could be seen in the south arc as a single, disconnected course of heavy stones [1]. The broch mound appears to be sitting on a platform some 42m in diameter with a number of orthostats visible on its outer edge [4]. This has been surrounded by a ditch and a counterscarp bank which survive on north-west and north-east sides [4].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 33 NW 1: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 52, no. 193: 3. Feachem 1963, 164: 4. Mercer 1985, no. WAR 113 and fig. 60. <1>

A fluxgate gradiometer survey and an earth resistance survey were carried out by ORCA in 2017 on land around the broch. The survey formed part of the Caithness Broch Festival Archaeology Programme. Approximately 1ha of magnetometry survey was carried out around the broch, with subsequent targeted earth resistance survey over areas of potential archaeological interest. The magnetometry survey revealed the presence of several areas of archaeological interest, in particular possible settlement and buildings to the south of the broch. Several other possible structures were identified adjacent to this, which may be related. An area of increased magnetic response was revealed across the west area of the survey, while a cluster of features of possible archaeological origin were located c. 20m south of the A99 road. In the east of the survey area, the results showed less general enhancement, although a large anomaly may relate to the ditch around the broch. Rig and furrow cultivation remains were apparent here. The targeted earth resistance survey results appeared to correlate with the magnetic survey showing the presence of a possible structure to the south of the broch. <2>

Trial trenches were excavated by ORCA in 2017 to the south of the Broch of Bruan, commissioned by the Caithness Broch Project (CBP). The trenches were located in order to ground-truth anomalies identified in the geophysical survey carried out by ORCA in August 2017. The nature and form of the features observed in all three trial trenches seem to concur with the strong archaeological signatures of the geophysical survey results. This indicated an area of buildings that may relate to an extramural settlement contemporary with the broch itself, although the date and exact nature of these structures remain to be proven with absolute certainty. It was proposed that further excavation over a more extensive area would clarify the nature, date and extent of the archaeological remains. <1>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 3102 3950 (59m by 58m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND33NW
Civil Parish LATHERON
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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Related Investigations/Events (2)

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