MHG2517 - Broch - Knock Urray


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

Knock Urray (Brough) (NR) OS 6"map, Caithness, 2nd ed. (1907)

The ruins of the broch 'Knock Urray', about 54ft in diameter, stand on a grassy mound some 87ft in diameter. The maximum height is about 10ft. Ruins are visible on the E side but no wall-face appears. There are traces of a surrounding ditch.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The site was Scheduled in 1938.

This turf-covered mound, 2.7m high, is generally as described by RCAHMS, but no surrounding ditch is visible. To SE there is a quantity of rubble stones, which is either debris from the mound or a result of stone clearance.
The hillock is conical, and situated on a flat plateau, a position which suggests it is more likely to be a cairn than a broch. No traces of walling could be found.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 24 November 1964.

(NC 9838 6630) Knock Urray (NR) OS 6"map, (1967)

Knock Urray survives as a turf-covered mound as described by the previous authorities. The 'mound on mound' effect and the former existence of a ditch (RCAHMS) suggest the remains of a broch, but no wall faces are exposed, and there is no central depression. Erosion on NE side reveals a content of earth and small pieces of sandstone. Commonly, when the turf has been removed or eroded from Caithness 'tullochs', a mixture of earth and stones is exposed, at least in the upper layers, but this does not preclude their classification as brochs. According to Mr Gourlay such a content was noticeable in excavated broch at Cross Kirk (ND07SW 4). He noted (i) that the core material between wall faces seemed to be of earth and small stones and (ii) that the large slabs of sandstone readily crumbled to fine chips. Probably for these reasons the sandstone brochs of Caithness tend to be reduced to slumped, ill-defined mounds attracting a turf cover, which contrasts strongly with the brochs further to W which are constructed of harder rock and are more likely to retain their form.
Visited by OS (N K B) 8 December 1981.

NC96 5 KNOCK URRAY NC/98438 6630
Possible broch in Reay, Caithness, consisting of a grassy mound some 26.54m (87ft) in diameter and 3.05m (10ft) high and with a flat top 16.47m (54ft) in diameter on which may be a ruined broch. However no wallfaces are visible.
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 96 NE 16: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 94, no. 349. <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NC 9838 6629 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC96NE
Civil Parish REAY
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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