Rediscovering Scotland’s Master Builders: The Broch Project

Brochs are incredible structures, built by the people in the Iron Age who lived in Scotland. These unique buildings of dry stone construction once towered across our landscape.

They are mostly found in the north of Scotland and the northern Isles although there are brochs in the south of Scotland for example Doon Castle Broch in Galloway.

Caithness has the most brochs of anywhere else in Scotland – so that means in the entire world.

And it is there that the amazing volunteers of The Caithness Broch Project plan to recreate a broch. They are going to use the same building techniques as our Iron Age ancestors to build a broch.

You can find out more about the project here: Caithness Broch Project

While they have been putting together this ambitious enterprise the volunteers have done invaluable work mapping, excavating and making more accessible the brochs in Caithness.

Orkney also has many brochs and the excavations at The Cairns in South Ronaldsay by the UHI Archaeology Institute, have revealed masses amounts of data about those that inhabited the brochs. Importantly too setting the story of its development and lifespan into the wider landscape.

At Gurness, in West Mainland, the broch was surrounded by a village.

The Iron Age peoples of Orkney were great traders using the sea routes to navigate around our seas.

We have so much to learn about Brochs, the people who built them and how they lived, thousands of years ago. The Broch Project to recreate one would tell us so much more about the physical construction but also help us to appreciate the great skill and mastery these people had.

Click on this link to view the BBC Reel short film about the Caithness Broch Project

Fiona Grahame

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