MHG39803 - Norse Burial in Possible Broch, Castlehill


A Viking burial was discovered in the top of the possible broch/mound.

Type and Period (1)

  • BURIAL (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)

Protected Status

Full Description

Broch lies on high point adjacent to coast path which it abuts. Ploughing up to circumference, overgrown with weeds on top. Gate post to W along the coast lane may be a reused lintel or similar . Photos- HAW 7/2003

The mound, probably remains of a broch, is as described by the previous field investigator.
Visited by OS (J B) 2 November 1981.

Broch (NR) (remains of) Viking Burial found AD 1786 (NAT) OS 6" map, (1970)

This artificial, grass-covered, conical mound, which measures 19m E-W by 13m transversely and 2.7m high, contains many protruding stone slabs and has been mutilated on N side by construction of a wall and track and by ploughing along S side. It may have been a broch but its present condition makes classification difficult.
Resurveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 16 February 1965.

This grassy mound, which contains ruins of a broch, has been robbed to some extent from S. The remaining portion is some 54ft diameter and 7ft high.
A skeleton, accompanied by a pair of 10th century (Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum 1951) Norse tortoise or oval brooches, a jet armlet 3ins in diameter, and a bone pin 8cm long, was found September 1786 on top of this mound, buried under a flat stone with very little earth above it. One of the brooches is in the National Museum of Copenhagen, while the other relics are in NMAS (Acc Nos: IL 222, FN 2 & FN 3 respectively). RCAHMS 1911; J Anderson 1874; 1878; Archaeol Scot 1831; NMAS 1892; S Grieg 1940; Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum 1951.

The oval brooch is listed in the NMS catalogue and NMS online collections database as IL 221. The armlet and pin are listed under Acc. Nos. FN 2 and FN 3. All three were acquiredby the NMS in 1787 from James Traill. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred ND 1936 6876 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (4)

  • ARMLET (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • BROOCH (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)
  • PIN (Norse - 800 AD to 1300 AD)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (3)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.