MHG42399 - Broch, Loch of Yarrows
No summary available.
Type and Period (1)
- BROCH (Iron Age - 550 BC to 560 AD)
Loch of Yarrows, ND34SW0001
Yarrows broch is one of the most complex brochs in Caithness. Situated on a promontory projecting into the loch, it is surrounded by cellular buildings, built on the middens of even earlier structures. It is overlain by later aisled houses known as ‘wags’, from the Gaelic word for cave. (49)
When the broch was excavated in the late nineteenth century, five human skeletons were found. One of these had been buried with a brass brooch, dating between AD 1200 and 1300. This suggests that, even after the broch had gone out of use, it remained an important focal point in landscape into the medieval period. (56)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
RCAHMS. 1911. Caithness. Edinburgh: HMSO, 149-51, No. 509.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000
ND34SW 1 3083 4349.
Cairns of Yarrows (NAT) Broch & Settlement (NR)
OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)
The broch of Yarrows, with secondary structures, including wags, is situated on a spur projecting into the Loch of Yarrows, isolated from the mainland by a ditch 25-30ft wide.
Before excavation by Anderson in 1866-7 the remains appeared as a grass-covered mound 18-20ft high. The broch consisted of a circular wall, 12-13ft thick and then 15ft high, enclosing an area 30ft diameter. The relics were presented to NMAS.
1910 the wall stood c11ft high. Much of structure was still visible, and the walls of the secondary structures were in good condition.
Anderson also found five human skeletons, one with a 13t-14th century brass brooch, in the mound.
J Anderson 1873; 1883; 1868; RCAHMS 1911.
A broch and settlement, generally as described by RCAHMS, partly waterlogged due to damming of Loch of Yarrows. The encircling ditch is now visible as a vague silted-up marshy area. The name 'Cairns of Yarrows' is no longer used locally.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (N K B) 2 May 1967.
This broch is probably an early form. A stretch of lintelled ground-level gallery, unnoted by the excavator, is in NE arc. The entrance in E is probably primary, that at the foot of the mural stair probably being pushed through when the settlement outside was being built. A secondary wall has been introduced to the interior of the broch, which is usually an indication that it has been converted into a dwelling and its high wall destroyed.
E W Mackie 1975.
Active erosion was noted at broch. Date 04/00.
Causes included visitors, stock and unstable walls were visible at broch entrance. See Hlink photos.
J Aitken : 24/01/01.
This site was included in Mackie's 2007 'The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700 BC - AD 500: Architecture and material culture'. See link below to HES Canmore record which includes the chapter on this site. <1>
- --- SHG1281 Text/Publication/Article: Anderson, J. 1873. ''Notice of the excavation of the brochs of Yarhouse, Brounaben, Bowermadden, Old Stirkake, and Dunbeath in Caithness; with remarks on the period of the brochs, and an appendix, containing a collected list of the brochs of Scotland, and early notices of m. Archaeol Scot. 131-98. 131; plan.
- --- SHG1296 Text/Publication/Article: Anderson, J. 1901. 'Notices of nine Brochs along the Caithness coast from Keiss Bay to Skirza Head, excavated by Sir Francis Tress Barry, Bart., MP., of Keiss Castle, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 35 1900-1, p.112-48. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 112-48. 112.
- --- SHG13611 Image/Photograph(s): Loch of Yarrows. Colour Slide; Digital Image. .
- --- SHG13612 Image/Photograph(s): Loch of Yarrows. Colour Slide; Digital Image. .
- --- SHG13649 Image/Photograph(s): Yarrows Broch. Colour Slide; Digital Image. .
- --- SHG1402 Text/Publication/Article: Anderson, J. 1869. 'Report on excavations in Caithness cairns, conducted for the Anthropological Society of London by Messrs. J Anderson and R I Shearer in 1866', Mem Anthrop Soc London Vol. 3 1867-9, p.216-42. Mem Anthrop Soc London. 216-42. 228.
- --- SHG1899 Text/Publication/Volume: Anderson, J. 1883. Scotland in pagan times: the iron age: the Rhind lectures in archaeology for 1881. 223; plan, illust.
- --- SHG2053 Text/Publication/Volume: Close-Brooks, J. 1986. Exploring Scotland's Heritage: The Highlands. 168-9, No. 97.
- --- SHG2472 Text/Publication/Volume: MacKie, E W. 1975. Scotland: an archaeological guide: from the earliest times to the twelfth century. 227-8.
- --- SHG25812 Image/Photograph(s): Puls, A. 2007. Broch, Loch of Yarrows. Colour digital.
- --- SHG25813 Image/Photograph(s): Puls, A. 2007. Broch, Loch of Yarrows. Colour digital.
- --- SHG2664 Text/Report: 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. . 149-51, No. 509; plan.
- --- SHG3916 Image/Photograph(s)/Aerial Photograph: B/W Negative. .
- --- SHG4419 Image/Photograph(s): B/W Negative. .
- --- SHG4420 Image/Photograph(s): B/W Negative. .
- --- SHG4421 Image/Photograph(s): B/W Negative. .
- --- SHG730 Text/Publication/Article: Curle, A O. 1912. 'Excavation of a galleried structure at Langwell, Caithness', Proc Soc Antiq Scot Vol. 46 1911-12, p.77-89. Proc Soc Antiq Scot. 77-89. 87-8.
- <1> SHG26111 Text/Publication/Monograph: Mackie, E.. 2007. The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700 BC - AD 500: Architecture and material culture Part 2 (I & II) The Northern and Southern Mainland and the Western Islands. BAR British Series. 444. Paperback. ND34 17 YARROWS.
|Grid reference||Centred ND 3083 4349 (19m by 19m) (Buffered by site type)|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Investigations/Events (0)
External Links (2)
- http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM611 (Online designation description (Historic Environment Scotland))
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/8982 (View RCAHMS Canmore entry for this site)
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