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Calla

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Calla

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 47622

Site Number NS94NE 9

NGR NS 99111 48849

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/47622

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

  • Council South Lanarkshire
  • Parish Carnwath
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Clydesdale
  • Former County Lanarkshire

Activities

Measured Survey (15 June 1952)

RCAHMS surveyed this site by plane-table on 15 June 1952 as part of the Marginal Land Survey. The resultant plan was redrawn in ink in 1974 and published at a reduced size in the County Inventory of Lanarkshire (RCAHMS 1978, Figure 67).

Reference (1957)

This site is noted in the ‘List of monuments discovered during the survey of marginal land (1951-5)’ (RCAHMS 1957, xiv-xviii).

Information from RCAHMS (GFG), 24 October 2012.

Field Visit (9 January 1968)

NS94NE 9 9911 4884.

(NS 9911 4884) Broch (NR) (remains of)

OS 1:10000 map (1978)

RCAHMS (MS and plan) confirmed.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (EGC) 9 January 1968

Field Visit (June 1972)

NS 991 488. Some slight remains of a broch are situated 650m S of Calla farmhouse on a low rocky knoll (274m OD) at the SE end of Calla Bank. In 1972, only the tops of a few stones could be seen protruding through the long grass that covers the site. The plan, however, shows the features that were visible in 1952, when the site was discovered and planned during a survey of marginal land undertaken by the Commission's officers. At that time the site, which has long been known locally as the 'old quarry', was already in a dilapidated condition, both the broch wall and its enclosing wall being reduced to low grass-grown stony banks. Nevertheless, by clearing back the turf and rubble from a number of facing-stones, it was possible to establish that the broch measured about 11.6m in diameter within a wall varying from 4.9m to 5.8m in thickness. Excavation would be required to establish the position of the entrance and of any intra- mural structures.

The broch stands within an oval enclosure formed by a wall, of which two long stretches of the outer face survive on the NW and SE respectively, but there are no visible indications of the thickness of the wall or of the location of the entrance. The outer facing-stones are set at a distance from the broch wall of as little as 4.0m on the SSE and as much as 12.2m on the N.

Three relics found at the time of the original survey are now in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS). They are: (i) a roughly circular piece of sandstone, 56mm by 50mm and 14mm thick; (ii) a piece of cannel coal, 106mm by 80mm and 10mm thick, with an incomplete hour-glass perforation near the centre; and (iii) a rough disc of cannel-coal, 25mm by 23mm and 6mm thick, with an hour-glass perforation near the centre.

RCAHMS 1978, visited June 1972

Publication Account (2007)

NS94 1 CALLA

NS/9911 4884

This possible broch in Carnwath stands about 650m south of Calla farmhouse on a low rocky knoll (274m OD) at the south-east end of Calla Bank. In 1972 only the tops of a few stones could be seen protruding through the long grass that covers the site. The plan shows the features that were visible in 1952, when the site was discovered and planned by the RCAHMS. At that time the site had long been known locally as the 'old quarry' and was already in a dilapidated condition, both the broch wall and its enclosing wall being reduced to low grass-grown stony banks.

The site is classed here only as a possible broch – even though there are enough facing stones remaining to confirm the shape and proportions – because brochs are comparatively rare in this part of the world.

By clearing back the turf and rubble from a number of facing-stones, it was possible to establish that the round building measured about 11.6m in diameter within a wall varying from 4.9m to 5.8m in thickness. Excavation would be required to establish the position of the entrance and of any intra-mural structures.

An outer wall forms an oval enclosure containing the broch, and two long stretches of the outer face of this survive on the north-west and south-east respectively; there are no visible indications of the thickness of the wall or of the location of the entrance. The outer facing-stones are set at a distance from the broch wall of as little as 4.0m on the south-south-east and as much as 12.2m on the north.

Finds (recovered at the time of the original survey and in the National Museum): 1 roughly circular piece of sandstone, 56mm by 50mm and 14mm thick, 1 piece of cannel coal, 106mm by 80mm and 10mm thick (with an incomplete hour-glass perforation near the centre) and 1 rough disc of cannel-coal, 25mm by 23mm and 6mm thick, also with an hour-glass perforation near the centre.

Dimensions: overall diameter about 11.6m; wall thickness 4.9m to 5.8m.

Sources: 1. NMRS site NS 94 NE 9: 2. RCAHMS 1978, 109-10, no. 244 and fig. 67: MacInnes 1985, 114.

E W MacKie 2007

References

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