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Field Visit

Date 8 June 1909

Event ID 1095749

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


7. Broch, Clachtoll. At Clachtoll, on the edge of the flat ledges of rock that fringe the sh_ore at the S. end of the Bay of Stoer, is a broch. Its position is not a very strong one to the landward side, and its outworks on that account are somewhat exceptional. About 100 yards distant are the remains of a massive outer wall, much ruined, crossing the uncultivated land to the E. The land to the S. being all cultivated, the outworks in that direction have been demolished. At 40' distant from the broch is another wall built of great stones, 2' to 3' in height and some 6' in thickness, which leads from either side of the entrance and was evidently carried round to enflank the building. On the S. the details are still evident. At the turning it enclosed a mound of stone and earth about 8' across, faced with building on the inner side. The distance between the stone uprights of the gateway through this wall is 6'. 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 very full of debris, and the greatest height of wall showing above it is only about 3'. On the outside the wall is in places 6' to 7' high, and the top of the interior face is 3' to 4' above that. The thickness of the wall at its highest level is 12', but as the ruins block the passage in the interior it is not possible to obtain that measurement at base. The interior diameter is 32'. The entrance is from the E. A large triangular stone, 4' 6" long, 3' 10" high, and 1' thick, forms the outer lintel, as at Dornadilla (No. 155). At the outside the entrance passage is 3' wide and now about 3' 6" high. At 4' from the exterior are door jambs on either side, beyond which the passage suddenly widens to 3' 10", and gradually expands as it leads inwards to a width of 4' 2" opposite to the entrances to guard chambers, which are reached 3' in rear of the door jambs. These chambers are opposite to each other, and the entrances to them are about 2' · 5" wide, and, at present, only 2' high. Except for a short portion near the middle, the roof of the passage is entirely covered with flags. The chamber on the right of the entrance extends inwards following the curve of the wall for 12', and the highest point of its overlapping roof is 6' from the present floor level. The chamber on the left is small and low, and a hole in the back of it suggests a connection with something beyond. In the interior of the broch, and directly opposite the entrance, the top of the stairway is visible. The stair itself probably exists for 12' or 14' downwards, but is concealed by debris to within 3' of the roof, which partially covers it. It apparently was entered from the wall on the interior to the left of the main entrance. The masonry of this broch is good owing to the horizontal cleavage of the sandstone of which it is built.

A steatite cup was found many years ago in a recess of the wall of the guard chamber, on the right of the entrance passage, by the Rev. J. M. Joass, LL.D., Golspie, in whose possession it still is.

The O.S. map indicates "Tumuli" about 100 yards to the S. of the broch.

OS 6-inch map, Sutherland, Sheet lviii.

RCAHMS 1911, visited (AOC) 8th June 1909.

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