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 (Undated)

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 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.

Castletown Brooch. (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG12336.

Archaeol Scot, 1831, 'List of donations presented to the Society of the Antiquaries of Scotland, 1784-1830', Archaeol Scot Vol. 3 1831, p.31-148, 61 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1037.

Anderson, J, 1875, 'Notes on the relics of the Viking period of the Northmen in Scotland, illustrated by specimens in the museum', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 10 1872-4, p.536-94, 549-50; illust (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1225.

1875, 'Tortoise or Bowl-shaped Brooches.', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 10 1874, p.549-51, 549-51 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG3004.

Anderson, J, 1878, 'Notes on the structure, distribution, and contents of the Brochs, with special reference to the question of their Celtic or Norwegian origin', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 12 1876-8, p.314-55, 329-30 (Text/Publication/Article). SHG1228.

RCAHMS, 1911, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness, 87, No. 320 (Text/Report). SHG2664.

Grieg, S, 1940, Viking antiquities in Scotland, 23-4; illust (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2295.

Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, 1951, Scotland's ancient treasures: from the National Museum of Antiquities, exhibited in Kelvingrove Museum, Glasgow, 1st June to 19th August, 1951 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2251.

Close-Brooks, J, 1986, Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands, 217, 218 (Text/Publication/Volume). SHG2053.

Sources/Archives (9)



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

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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