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Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Auchinsalt

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Easter Borland.

Canmore ID 24398

Site Number NN60SE 8

NGR NN 65333 00978

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Port Of Menteith
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN60SE 8 6533 0099.

(NN 6533 0099) Keir (NR)

OS 6" map, (1958)

Keir (evidently a corruption of 'Caer' = a fort) (Chalmers 1887-94).

The site consists of a bank (without a ditch) of stone (exposed by rabbit-digging in places) representing a former wall c.16 paces in diameter, which seems deficient in the S and SE, the stones possibly having fallen into the ravine. Inside are the remains of some structure which is not easy to identify. The absence of a ditch suggests the possibility of its being a broch, but it cannot be put down as such without further investigation. The hachures NW of the mound represent natural gullies on the edge of the ravine (OS 6" map annotated by O G S Crawford, 9 June 1937).

A few years prior to 1898, a great many small bones were found whilst digging for stones (Ordnance Survey Name Book {ONB} 1898) (See NN60SE 4 and NN60SE 5 for similar sites). Chrystal (1903) also supports the 'broch' theory.

Name Book 1898; G Chalmers 1887-94; W Chrystal 1903.

Situated on a natural knoll on the steep west bank of the Littlemill Burn, and probably defended on the landward side by a ditch (now much reduced by cultivation), there is a near circular stone structure, heavily robbed and overgrown.

It measures c.24.0m in overall diameter, and appears to have consisted of a stone wall 4-5m thick of which a few facing stones and grounders survive on the W and SW. No entrance is visible. The interior has been extensively mutilated; the building seen by Crawford could not be identified.

Without excavation it is impossible to accurately identify this structure, but it is probably a dun, although it could possibly be a broch. (Coldoch lies some 5 miles SE - NS69NE 6).

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (E G C) 10 December 1968.


Field Visit (14 June 1957)

This site was included within the RCAHMS Marginal Land Survey (1950-1962), an unpublished rescue project. Site descriptions, organised by county, are available to view online - see the searchable PDF in 'Digital Items'. These vary from short notes, to lengthy and full descriptions. Contemporary plane-table surveys and inked drawings, where available, can be viewed online in most cases - see 'Digital Images'. The original typecripts, notebooks and drawings can also be viewed in the RCAHMS search room.

Information from RCAHMS (GFG) 19 July 2013.

Field Visit (December 1977)

Auchinsalt NN 653 009 NN60SE 8

This broch is defended by steep slopes on the N, E and S, and measures 24m in diameter over a wall about 5m thick. Although the site has been mutilated by quarrying outer facing-stones are visible on the SW.

RCAHMS 1979, visited December 1977

Name Book, Perthshire, no. 69, p. 80

Publication Account (2007)

NN60 1 AUCHINSALT (‘Easter Borland’)

NN/6533 0099

This possible broch – situated on a natural knoll next to the steep west bank of the Littlemill Burn in Port of Menteith – was originally described as a bank of stone ‘”representing a former wall”, the absence of a ditch suggesting the possibility of a broch [2]. In 1968 the Ordnance Survey investigator thought that it was the remains of the stone wall of a dun, 4-5m thick with a few facing stones visible; the proximity of Coldoch (NS69 1) suggested that it might perhaps be another broch [1]. The remains of an outer ditch on the side away from the burn were noted. In 1979 it was accepted as a broch [3].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NN 60 SE 8: 2. Chalmers 1887-94, 93: 3. RCAHMS 1979b, 19, no. 149.

E W MacKie 2007


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