By Bernie Bell

It’s the first of Brochtober!!!!!!

How do I mark it??????

What can I say, or show, which I haven’t shown before, in relation to brochs?????

Here they are – Brochtober Brochs galore…..

We’ve recently found out about a ‘new’ one.  We have a ‘new’ neighbour – well, he moved here on the 6th of …Brochtober, last year – so, still kind of new.  He’s very keen to discover all things Orcadian, and especially local sites of archaeological interest.  He showed us an excerpt from an old map which he had on his Smartphone, which showed ‘Chambered Cairn – Rems of’ , just down the road from us – right on the corner. Neither Mike nor I had come across this before – we advised him to ask County Archaeologist Julie Gibson about it, then we started to investigate for ourselves.

We remembered that the house on the corner which is now called ‘The Cottage’, used to be called North Aittit  – as we’d been told the tale of a man who lived there years ago, who walked into the sea holding onto a large boulder, to drown himself.  So, we tried looking up North Aittit instead – a different house now has that name. Orkney house names can be confusing, if not non-existent!

And, Mike found an entry on Canmore which refers to a Broch at North Aittit: , and the whole description is very broch-ish.  The description is fascinating – look at the stuff which has been dug up there – where are those things now? 

Though the map neighbour-man Steve showed us says ‘Cairn’ – old maps can be a bit vague about what things are, or what they were thought to be at the time.  The description says that the house was built on a broch – I wonder how much of it was actually built on the broch, and how much just vaguely over the general area? 

Is there more to be found when digging the garden?

It all fits together.

We now walk past that corner with heightened interest, and as with the broch by the house at Dam O’ Hoxa , we wonder about the neighbours……

Even on territory which is familiar to you ‘new’ archaeology can be discovered, and maybe even a ’new’ broch!

Lotte Glob’s ‘ new’ Book Broch

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