Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

All our staffed properties, sites and offices, including the HES Archives and Library, are currently closed, but we’re working on plans to gradually reopen. In the meantime, you can access our services online. Find out more.

Scheduled Website Maintenance 14/07/20 00:00 – 04:00GMT – There will be periods of time during this window when this website will be unavailable.

Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands

Date 2007

Event ID 962875

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis

Little is known of the origin and purpose of the brochs; it appears that they were all lofty structures but the original height at Carloway is not known. It certainly required competent building skills to construct. The remains of the structure are circular in plan with a low narrow doorway giving access to the interior courtyard. A good average internal diameter is 32 ft. The thick walls are built hollow at ground level and the structure tapers to give a conical profile.

Much of the broch is missing, probably because the carefully built drystone masonry was easily pilfered for other buildings, but the form of the structure is clearly seen on inspection. Generally brochs are considered to date from about 200BC continuing into the Christian era.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.

People and Organisations