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Burrian, Corrigall

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Burrian, Corrigall

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Corrigall Burn

Canmore ID 2025

Site Number HY31NW 33

NGR HY 3235 1937

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Orkney Islands
  • Parish Birsay And Harray
  • Former Region Orkney Islands Area
  • Former District Orkney
  • Former County Orkney

Archaeology Notes

HY31NW 33 3235 1937.

(HY 3235 1937) Burrian (NR)

OS 6" map, Orkney, 2nd ed., (1903).

Burrian, a large mound containing the remains of a broch despoiled for building materials, is situated on the steep right bank of Corrigall Burn. On the NW side, six courses of drystone walling, 4 ft 6 ins high and 8 ft long are exposed but, elsewhere, only the foundation courses are discernible, in one or two places, suggesting an external diameter of about 53 ft. The proprietor encountered a passage 2 ft wide (which he filled in) within the walls, whilst removing stones.

The broch is partly surrounded for half its circumference at a distance of 40 ft by a deep ditch 33 ft across. An earthen embankment, from 2 ft 6 ins to 5 ft 6 ins high, lies on the outer lip of the ditch at the west side. The remains of 'outbuildings' lie between the broch and the ditch.

RCAHMS 1946.

Burrian, the remains of a broch generally as described by the Commission, measures c.16.7m in external diameter. An inner wall-face is visible on the N side giving a wall thickness of 4.8m. Mutilation and the disturbance of the ground to the N, W, and E of the broch, between it and the ditch, have revealed wall-faces of indeterminate structures. The ditch and outer bank at the west side are as described by the RCAHMS.

Resurveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (NKB) 19 June 1966.


Publication Account (2002)

HY31 4 BURRIAN 3 ('Burrian, Corrigall', ‘Burrian broch, Harray’)


A probable broch inside a large mound which has suffered from extensive quarrying; a short section of the outer wall face can be seen on the NW, about 2.4 m (8 ft.) long and 1.4 m (4.5 ft.) high in six battered courses of dry stone masonry. One or two other blocks suggest an overall diameter of 16.2 m (53 ft.). There is a deep outer ditch 10.1 m (33 ft.) across surrounding the mound about 12.2 m (40 ft.) out from its base, with part of a possible outer embankment on the W. There are traces of outbuildings between broch mound and ditch.

Sources: 1. HY 31 NW 33: 2. RCAHMS 1946, 2, 13, no. 12: Hedges et al. 1987, 70.

E W MacKie 2002


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