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Publication Account

Date 1986

Event ID 1017435

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


A low rocky promontory on the south side of Ardwell Point is host to the best-preserved of the small handful of brochs in western Galloway. The coastal setting is in keeping with such structures, but it is a long way from the main centres of broch-building in northern and north-western Scotland. However, like the outliers in the central Lowlands, this group does not necessarily reflect a process of migration and colonisation by broch-using peoples; they are more likely to represent the employment by local chieftains, perhaps fearful of Roman military strength, of a class of itinerant broch engineers.

Compared to some of the mighty drystone towers in the north,the best of the Galloway brochs is a muchreduced specimen, but the essential outlines of its circular design and structural features are clear enough. The interior measures 9m in diameter with walls 4.6m in maximum thickness and 1.8m in greatest heighti below this level the entire course of the inner wall-face is still visible. It has been built of large squarish blocks, and at least two cells have been set within the thickness of the wall. There are entrances to seaward and to landward, where the site has been further defended by a transverse wall and a natural gully which is spanned by a stone-faced causeway.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Dumfries and Galloway’, (1986).

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