MHG674 - Broch, Tulach Lochain Bhraseil


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

Full Description

Tulach Lochain Bhraseil, Westerdale, ND15SW0019

Brochs are round, tower-like houses, their monumental size intended to display the wealth and status of the agricultural communities who lived in them. They were occupied in the later Iron Age and occur frequently in north and west of Scotland. (41)
This broch, like many other Caithness examples, survives as a low grassy mound, with a number of large stones protruding from it. In this case, a modern cairn has been built on its summit. The mound lies in a level field, close to the River Thurso.
There is little here, apart from the sheer scale of the mound and a slight suggestion of the ‘mound-on-mound’ effect, which may reflect buried outbuildings around the central tower, to confirm that this is a broch. Another large mound, just to the north east, may also contain a broch.
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
RCAHMS. 1911. Caithness. Edinburgh: HMSO, 41, No. 143.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

ND15SW 19 1282 5203.

(ND 1282 5203) Tulach Lochain Bhraiseil (Brough) (NR)
OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1908)

Mound, 'Tulach Lochain Bhraiseil': About 1/4 mile NNW of Westerdale bridge is a conical grassy mound of artificial character. There is no depression in the top and the greatest elevation is about 10ft. In diameter it measures about 119ft N-s by 103ft transversely. There is nothing to indicate whether this is a cairn or a broch, but from it shape it is possibly the former.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of this feature are as described above; it has more the appearance of a cairn than a broch. A modern cairn has been erected on the top. Visited by OS (E G C) 15 April 1962.

Tulach Lochain Bhraiseil (NR) OS 6" map, (1963)

Tulach Lochain Bhraiseil is a turf-covered broch-mound generally as described by the RCAHMS (1911), situated in a level field. It measures overall 35.0m N-S by 32.0m and 2.5m maximum height towards to SE quarter, where it is surmounted by a modern cairn. Some 6.0m inside the W edge of the mound is an earthfast boulder slab 1.2m long N-S by 0.6m broad and visible to a height of 0.4m; in the SE, 3.5m in from the periphery, is another, smaller, slab which is on line with a slight scarp around the S quarter of the mound, thereby creating in part the mound-on-mound effect common to Caithness brochs. One or both slabs may be outer facing-stones of the broch itself.
Visited by OS (N K B) 19 February 1982

'Broch', 'Tulach Lochain Bhraseil'. Dimensions: 35 x 32m. Grass-covered mound 2.5m high, with mound on the mound formation.
R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995

ND15 21 TULACH LOCHAIN BRAISEAL ('Tulach Lochan Bhraiseil')
ND/1282 5203
Possible broch in Halkirk, Caithness, consisting of a conical grassy mound with no traces of a building visible. There are slight suggestions of the 'mound on mound' effect common in Caithness brochs [1]; the plan shows no masonry [3].
Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 15 SW 19: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 41, no. 143: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 668-69 and plan. <1>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred ND 1282 5202 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND15SW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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.