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Publication Account

Date 1995

Event ID 1016757

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Dun Troddan is set on a terrace on the side of a hill, looking down on its neighbour Dun Telve from a little further up the glen. About one-third of its wall still stands to a height of some 7.6m, making it the third best preserved broch after Mousa and Dun Telve, and in its structural details it is very like Dun Telve.

From the entrance with its door checks a long cell, now only partly roofed, leads off to the left. Inside the broch a doorway opens to a cell on the left, with its corbelled roof intact, and to a stair on the right. Nine steps lead up to a level passage running round inside the wall for some 5.50m; after this the stair rose again, though only one step of the second Bight has survived. It is probable that here, as at Totaig (no. 85), a doorway gave access from the passage onto the floor supported on the scarcement, but at Dun Troddan this part of the wall has fallen and no trace of such a door remains. Like Dun Telve, Dun Troddan has a series of voids over the door to the stairs and another set high up in the wall. Three galleries survive in the wall of which only the lowest, at first-Boor level, would have been used by the inhabitants. The hollow walls and the slabs forming the galleries can be seen clearly in the broken ends of the walls. A good idea of the blank and impregnable appearance of an intact broch can be got by looking at the highest part of the wall from outside.

Dun Troddan was cleared out by the then Office of Works over a number of years, and its floor excavated, though not to modern standards, in 1920. A ring of postholes were found which would have held wooden posts to support the upper floor, and a central stone hearth, which had been rebuilt several times. Later hearths were built above a layer of rubble and seem to show continued use of the structure as a dwelling after the upper part of the tower had fallen. Part of a rotary quem can still be seen in the paving of the lowest hearth. Among the few objects found in the broch were stone spindle whorls and a tiny yellow glass bead.

It is unusual to find brochs so close together as Dun Troddan and Dun Telve, but a few other instances are known such as Keiss (see no. 44).

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).

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