MHG2308 - Broch or Cairn - Scottag


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • CAIRN (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 551 BC)
  • (Alternate Type) BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Cairn (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Broch, Scottag: The flat stones exposed about surface show this to be remains of a broch whose present elevation is about 5ft; it is low mound overgrown with grass surmounted by a modern cairn.

Part of this mound was removed by Mr Sutherland (Scottag) in the winter of 1870-1. A small square stone cist was discovered full of decayed bones and black earth. A bronze buckle and finger-ring, also some pieces of deer's horns in excellent preservation and of a very large size were found.
Name Book 1871

Situated on fairly level ground is an irregular mound 21m E-W by 16m transversely and 1.7m high, surmounted by a modern beehive-shaped cairn. There is little evidence of flat stones about surface as stated by the RCAHM and little to indicate that this feature has been a broch. From the finds described in the ONB (1871), this monument is more likely to be a cairn.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (R D L) 23 April 1963

A bronze spiral finger-ring, found in a mound at Watten was purchased for NMAS in 1894 (Acc No: DO 35).
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1894; D V Clarke 1971

The mound, situated in a prominent position in the corner of a pasture field, is generally as described by the previous field investigator; it is turf-covered and no details of its content are exposed. It appears to occupy summit of a lower mound which is itself ploughed down; in N a farm road runs over it. The impression given is of a 'mound on mound ' effect common to brochs in Caithness, but this effect is accentuated by ploughing across S side. On E side this lower mound has been quarried down to original ground level. The purpose of this feature remains uncertain. Though its appearance suggests a broch rather than a cairn, discovery of a cist is strong evidence for a cairn, though conceivably it could have been found in the aforementioned quarry, overlaid by a broch. The modern cairn noted by previous OS field investigator has collapsed.
Visited by OS (J B) 5 April 1982

Bronze spiral finger-ring.
E W MacKie 1971

'Broch'. Diameter: 50m. Grass-covered mound 2m high showing mound on mound construction. The lower mound 50m diameter is surmounted by a 16m diameter mound.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

Possible broch in Watten, Caithness, now a low stony mound about 1.5m (5ft) high. In 1870, while part of the mound was being removed, a stone cist was found containing decayed bones, black earth, a finger-ring and a bronze buckle; there were also some well-preserved fragments of deer antler. The cist may mean that the mound is a cairn but if the bronze spiral finger-ring of Iron Age type, found in 'a mound at Watten", which was bought by the National Museum in 1894, is from this site then it is likely to be a broch. <1>

Sources/Archives (6)



Grid reference Centred ND 2566 5698 (14m by 14m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND25NE
Civil Parish WATTEN
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (3)

  • RING (Iron Age - 550 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • BUCKLE (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 2400 BC? to 560 AD?)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

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