Clachtoll

Broch

Site Name Clachtoll

Classification Broch

Canmore ID 4499

Site Number NC02NW 2

NGR NC 0366 2784

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Assynt
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC02NW 2 0366 2784.

(NC 0366 2784) An Dun (NAT) Broch (NR)

OS 6" map, (1971)

At Clachtoll, on the edge of the flat ledges of rock that fringe the shore, is a broch and outworks. The broch is in a fairly good state of preservation except towards the sea where it has been for a short distance almost demolished. The interior is full of debris and the greatest height of wall showing above it is c. 3'. On the outside the top of the wall is 6' - 7' high but the interior face is 3' - 4' above that. It was not possible to measure the thickness of the wall at the base but at its highest level it is 12' thick. The interior diameter of the broch is 32'. The entrance, in the E, is 3' wide and now about 3'6" high with two guard chambers, one on either side of the entrance passage. In the interior, directly opposite the entrance, the top of the stairway is visible. A steatite cup was found many years ago in a recess of the wall of the right hand guard chamber by the Rev J M Joass of Golspie, in whose possession it still is. (See NC02NW 4 for a steatite cup, found near the broch - possibly the same cup?)

About 100 yds from the broch are the much ruined remains of a massive outer wall crossing the uncultivated land to the E: the land to the S being all cultivated, the outworks in that direction have been demolished. 40' from the broch is another wall built of great stones, 2' - 3' in height and some 6' thick, which leads from either side of the entrance and was evidently carried round to out- flank the building. On the S the details are still evident. At the turning it enclosed a mound of stone and earth c. 8' across faced with building on the inner side. The distance between the stone uprights of the gateway through the wall is 6'.

RCAHMS 1911.

Listed as a broch.

A Graham 1949.

The broch is defended by an outwork built of very large blocks and boulders, but another ruined wall lying some 100 yds away is most probably a land boundary of later date.

R W Feachem 1963.

This broch measures 16.1m in overall diameter. The internal diameter can only be measured above the rubble which fills the interior to above scarcement level. Here it is 9.7m, and the wall varies between 3.1m and 3.4m in width, but at ground level at the entrance the wall is 4.2m thick, suggesting an internal diameter of about 8.0m. The entrance passage is accessible and shows two upright slabs for door jambs 1.7m along it. Behind them are the bar holes and the entrances to two guard chambers each 3.7m long. There is an opening into the broch interior from the rear of the N guard chamber. There is what may be a later forework immediately in front of the broch entrance, and traces of a probably secondary building, both of which are mainly masked by debris. The entrance passage through the outwork shows two upright blocks, probably jambs, about 4.0m along it, and there are suggestions that a passage or corridor led on from them towards the broch entrance, but debris prevents a true assessment of this. The alleged outwork 100 yds distant is a combination of outcrop and cleared stones.

Published survey (1:10,000) revised.

Visited by OS (G H P) 11 May 196 and (A A) 5 August 1974.

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (J B) 14 August 1980.

This site was visited in the course of fieldwork by Dr. T.C. Welsh in 1971.

For further information, see MS/576/1.

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