MHG9446 - Broch, East Kinnauld


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Type and Period (1)

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

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Full Description

NC70SE 5 7438 0159.

East Kinnauld, Strath Fleet, NC70SW0005

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)
East Kinnauld sits high above Strath Fleet, commanding a very extensive view. It stands on the very edge of the break of slope, so that while it is difficult to approach the broch from below, it is easily reached from all other directions. Therefore, in spite of the apparently straightforward appearance of defence, this broch is intended as a more subtle statement of power and authority. (67)
Although now quite dilapidated, the walls of the broch still stand to around 3m in height and the entrance passage and gallery within the thickness of the double-skinned wall are clearly visible. (32)
Armit, I., 1997. Celtic Scotland. Edinburgh: Batsford.
Gourlay, R., 1996. Sutherland. An Archaeological Guide, pg. 70
RCAHMS. 1911. Sutherland. Edinburgh: HMSO, 164-5, No. 477.
Information from SCRAN Project, March, 2000

(NC 7438 0159) Broch (NR) OS 1:10,000 map, (1971)

The remains of a broch situated on a rocky peak and commanding an extensive view. It is much dilapidated, but wall stands to a considerable height, beneath debris, all round. The interior diameter is 31ft and the wall thickness 17ft. The entrance, 2ft 9ins wide at the exterior and 3ft wide at the interior end, is in the west and has an orthodox guard-chamber in the south wall. Another chamber opens into the north wall, forward of the guard-chamber, its end being linked to the interior of the broch by a passage, at right angles to the chamber. The debris in the courtyard obscures the entrance to the staircase but the gallery is visible in the arc NW-NNE. The maximum height of wall visible above the debis on both the outside and the inside is 4ft.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The broch is as described and planned by the RCAHMS, except that the gallery is traceable round most of the circuit and short sections of the scarcement are visible on the inner wall-face of the south arc. Resurveyed at 1:2500.
Visited by OS (R B) 28 February 1966.

A broch 9.5m diameter within a wall 4.1m thick in the E arc increasing to 5.1m in the sides of the entrance passage, door-checked, from the west. There are traces of a mural gallery in the north half only, and no sign of a scarcement. Other features are as described in the RCAHMS report.
Revised at 1:10,000. Visited by OS (J M) 18 March 1981.

This broch is situated on a rocky hill about 200m NE of East Kinnauld fort (NC70SW 17). The court measures 9.4m in diameter within a rubble wall, 5.2m thick and up to 3m high. The entrance-passage lies on the W, the internal opening of which is surmounted by a triangular lintel, and guard-chambers open off either side of the passage. An intra-mural gallery is visible within the N arc of the wall.
(ROG95 541) Visited by RCAHMS (PJD) 6 June 1995

NC/7438 0159
This broch in Rogart, Sutherland, stands in a very remote position, high among the crags on the north side of and overlooking Strath Fleet – a fertile valley with many modern farms (visited 11/7/63 and 9/7/85). The structure, now a vast heap of stones, is built of irregular blocks of igneous or metamorphic rock and is full of its own debris. It stands about 122m (400ft) above the sea.
The entrance is on the west and fairly clear of debris at the outer end. There is an oval guard cell on its right, choked with debris but apparently 3.05m (10ft) deep; the lintel of the doorway to this cell is visible, immediately behind a built door-check at a distance of 2.74m (9ft) from the exterior. The passage is 5.19m (17ft) long and 84cm (2ft 9in) wide at the outer end. Three lintels are still in position over the outer part of the passage, starting at the door-checks.
On the left of the passage is the curved wall of another mural cell with a doorway to the interior of the broch, capped with a small triangular lintel [2, fig. 65] It is not clear exactly what this is, but it is unlikely to be a second guard cell; such rarely communicate with the interior (but see Clachtoll – NC02 1). However the Commission also saw what seemed to be the edge of a doorway leading from this cell to the entrance passage, but this feature is now obscured. Thus the broch may have two guard cells.
Traces of a mural gallery are visible in places all round the wallhead. At 7-8 o'clock it is higher than the entrance lintels, so it should be an upper gallery at this point. Yet it continues round to 12 o'clock where it looks as if it is at ground level since the natural rock surface outside the broch is much higher at this point. However at 8 o'clock there is a void from the gallery to the interior, the sill of which is exposed; thus the gallery here ought to be an upper one. The author saw no trace of a scarcement on the exposed inner wallface in 1963, but one was reported in 1966 and denied in 1981 [1]. The inner face is well built in spite of the coarse nature of the stone.
Dimensions (author’s measurements): 6-12 o'clock, overall diameter 18.61m (61ft); internal diameter 9.61m (31ft31 6in). The wall is therefore c. 4.42m thick and the wall proportion would then be about 48.4% (the entrance passage was found to be only 4.88m (16ft) long, not 5.19m (17ft) ). More recently the wall was stated to vary in thickness from 4.1m on the east to 5.1min the sides of the entrance on the west [1]. This last measurement conflicts with the author's.
Sources: 1 NMRS site no. NC 70 SW 5: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 164-5, no. 477. <1>

Sources/Archives (10)



Grid reference Centred NC 7438 0159 (70m by 70m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC70SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ROGART

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