(from the Scots word "burgh",
fortified drystone round towers with hollow walls containing
flat storage spaces (called galleries or cells) and
steps to higher floors. Those Iron Age stone structures
are unique in Scotland, peculiar to the Northern and
Western Isles and the adjacent mainland, and have no
counterpart anywhere else.
The remains of about 500 Brochs have been recorded in
the North and West of Scotland, the Northern Isles (Shetland,
Orkney) and the Outer Hebrides.
Most appear to date from the 1st century BC and the
1st and 2nd centuries AD. The largest and best preserved
is at Mousa, Shetland (still 13m high). Brochs were
once, erroneously, thought to have been built by the
Brochs were mainly built in locations which were easy
to defend, close to arable land and a source of water.
Many of them have deep wells or natural springs rising
within their central space.