Heartland - Petra's Scotland pages

Brochs

(from the Scots word "burgh",
a borough)
are 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 Picts.

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.
 
Dun Telve Broch
Dun Telve Broch
Dun Troddan Broch
 
 
The following pages contain photos and informations about
Dun Telve Broch (the best preserved of the Glenelg Brochs)
Dun Troddan Broch
Dun Troddan Broch (Glenelg)
Dun Beag Broch (Isle of Skye)
   
some definitions
Dun
Archaeological term, from Gaelic "dun", a fort, referring to a small stonewalled defensive homestead of the Iron Age, often situated on an isolated site. It is a common place-name element, sometimes in the form “dum-“
Iron Age
about 700 BC - 550 AD
The Iron Age is the period in a civilisation's development at which time iron working was the most sophisticated form of metalworking achieved. By 500 BC iron was beginning to replace bronze as the preferred metal for tools and weapons.
Mousa
A small island in Shetland, uninhabited since the 19th century
 


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