MHG42234 - The Pap Broch


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUMAN REMAINS (Late Iron Age - 2 AD? to 560 AD?) + Sci.Date

Protected Status

Full Description

The Pap (NAT) Broch (NR) OS 6" map, (1968)

Broch - 'Hillhead Broch' or 'The Pap', Broadhaven was excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry in 1903. From plan then made, it can be seen that outside of broch to E and c30ft distant from entrance were two converging passages, each about 17ft in length to the point of convergence. Inward another 7.5ft was a 5.5ft thick outer casing wall, and on left side of passage here was a 2ft wide entrance with a flight of 6 steps leading down to an 8ft deep well. The broch wall itself was 13ft thick, and on either side of the entrance- passage was a guard-chamber. The diameter of inner court was 30ft, but reduced some 2-3ft be some still remaining portions of a facing wall. There was a chamber in N and S sides of the broch wall. Internally, height of wall was about 9ft. In its present (1910) condition, interior of broch is largely filled with debris, beneath which wall face is hidden. On exterior towards W, wall is visible for a height of about 2ft.
Found in this broch and now in NMAS is the top of a human skull in which are three small perforations placed so as to form a rough equilateral triangle.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Numerous small finds from Hillhead Broch were donated to NMAS by representatives of late Sir Francis Tress Barry in 1908.
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1909.

A badly mutilated mound of earth and stones c18m diameter and 1.3m in height standing on rising ground in corner of cultivated field, is all that remains of this broch. The hollowed centre of the mound measures c13m diameter. A portion of outer face of broch wall, some 0.1m high, can be seen on NE side.
Various fragments of stone, shells and animal bone found in or near this broch are in Wick Museum, with several photographs of excavations.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (W D J) 21 April 1962.

Badly overgrown but part of outer wall visible. C E Batey 1981.

No change. Visited by OS (J B) 18 August 1982.

Bone dice found at unknown location in broch; GA 846. Numbered 3, 5, 4, 6. 33 x 10mm. RMS GA 847. Solid bone. All surfaces are extremely worn, but on three of four faces some markings are visible. It is impossible to be certain that all markings on any one face have been recognised. Some dots (probably all) enclosed by a circle. 47 x 8mm.
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1909; D V Clarke 197; E W MacKie 1971.

A radiocarbon date for the human remains was obtained and published as part of the Human Remains from Iron Age Atlantic Scotland Dating Project 2009. This indicated a Late Iron Age/Pictish date of 340-420 cal AD (at 1 sigma). <1>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred ND 3761 5139 (6m by 6m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND35SE
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (2)

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.