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Broch Of Aithsetter

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Broch Of Aithsetter

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 1005

Site Number HU43SW 2

NGR HU 4466 3035

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Dunrossness
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Shetland
  • Former County Shetland

Archaeology Notes

HU43SW 2 4466 3035.

(HU 4466 3035) Brough (OE)

A turf-grown mound 8'-10' high, hollowed in the centre. Although no stonework is exposed, there is little doubt that this has been a broch. The headland on which it stands is linked to the mainland by a narrow neck, across which there are still some traces of defensive works.

RCAHMS 1946. Visited 1930.

HU 4468 3036. A mutilated turf-covered mound, c.2.5m. high, hollowed in the centre, conceals the remains of a broch. A few outer facing stones, visible at intervals, except in the south indicate an overall diameter of 19.5 to 20.0m.

On the landward side of the mound is a disturbed area of ground with large elongated hollows (caused by subsidence) astride the narrow neck of land joining the headland to the mainland.

The two extremities of a curving rampart c.1.0m. high which has crossed the neck of the promontory are probably accentuated by quarrying which has destroyed most of it, and there is the suggestion of a second rampart, now surrounded by a fence, outside the E extremity of the first.

Re-surveyed at 1/2500.

Visted by OS(AA) 30th May 1968.


Publication Account (2002)

HU43 1 AITHSETTER ('Broch of Aithsetter')


Possible broch in Dunrossness, on a high rocky promontory; the mutilated mound, completely covered with turf, is 2.5m (0 ft. 0 ins.) high. There are traces of two concentric curved ramparts on the narrow neck leading to the headland.

Sources: 1. OS card HU 43 SW 2 (with plan): 2. RCAHMS 1946, vol. 3, no. 1141, 23.

E W MacKie 2002

Note (3 March 2016 - 1 November 2016)

What may be a fort is situated on a cliff-girt promontory on the coast at Aithsetter, which is also occupied by a broch. The defences of the possible fort comprise the remains of two ramparts with a broad medial ditch drawn across the neck to bar the approach from the SW, cutting off an area on the top of the promontory measuring about 65m from NE to SW by 50m transversely (0.3ha). The defences have been heavily quarried, though the ramparts still stand 1.5m above the bottom of the ditch on the S margin of the promontory, and the broch itself has been reduced largely to a mound of rubble about 2.5m in height. According to the Scheduling document, at least three sub-circular hollows that can be seen on the S side of the broch mound may be the remains of structures, one of them with three conjoined compartments.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 01 November 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC4187


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