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Dail Langwell

Broch (Iron Age)

Site Name Dail Langwell

Classification Broch (Iron Age)

Canmore ID 4882

Site Number NC41SW 1

NGR NC 4116 1121

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Creich (Sutherland)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

(NC 4116 1121) Broch (NR)

OS 6" map, (1967).

The remains of a broch set on the slope of the hill, with the ground falling sharply from the site on the north and east. The interior is filled with debris, the wall being nowhere visible for more than 5ft above it, reaching a maximum height of 11 ft externally and about 17ft internally on the NW. The south has been heavily robbed to build sheepfolds. The entrance passage in the east is still intact at its inner end and is 18ft 6 ins long, with a guard chamber on the north. An oval mural chamber 7ft south of the entrance is entered from the central court, as is a gallery which is visible within the wall on the S and W.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The broch still stands to a height of 3.5m on the NW and has an overall diameter of 17.8m.

Visited by OS (E G C), 7 April 1963.

The broch is as described above, although none of the internal features are particularly well-defined, all being obscured by tumbled stones.

Visited by OS (J B), 30 September 1976.


Publication Account (2007)


NC/4116 1121

This unexcavated broch in Creich, Sutherland, stands on the west side of Glencassley about 7.5 miles above the junction of the rivers Cassley and Oykel (visited 7/7/85). The huge mound of stone sits on a hillock on a slope about. 24m (80ft) above the river. There are no modern stone buildings anywhere near except for some large sheep enclosures built next to the broch on the south-east side.

The structure is full of debris and dilapidated but the wall stands 3.36m (11ft) high on the upstream or north-west side, where the inner face is some 2m higher than the outer. On this side there is a stretch of lintelled intra-mural gallery the roof of which is not far below the top of the adjacent internal wallface. Because of the height of the wall it must be an upper gallery, thus making Dail Langwell a true hollow-walled broch. The inner wallface is even higher on the opposite side. No trace of a scarcement can be seen on the inner face, and the evident height of the wall suggests that it is still buried under the debris in the interior.

The entrance was clearly visible on the east side in 1909 [2] but is hard to trace now; its outer end is presumably hidden by the sheep pens. It is evidently about 5.64m (18ft 6in) long and the inner end was intact; it was then still lintelled over for a distance of 3.0m (10ft). The doorway to a guard cell on the right of the passage was visible 2.59m (8ft 6in) from the exterior, and the roof of its corbelled chamber then also seemed to be intact; no trace of this cell was observed in 1985. A pair of door-checks were visible 1.22m (4ft) inwards from the doorway to this cell so there ought to be another door-frame further forward and hidden by debris. The space between the visible pair is 51cm (20in) and they are composed of 10cm (4in)-thick slabs set at right angles into the wall and projecting slightly from it. A bar-hole and -socket were seen behind the checks and the right hole seemed to lead into the guard cell.

All the other features described in 1909 are still visible. South of the entrance part of an oval mural cell can be seen – probably at about 7.30 o'clock – and the parts of the upper mural gallery about 1.07m (3ft 5in) wide on the north and north-west have already been mentioned. A raised void to the interior can be seen next to the north sector, at about 3 o'clock. On the south side is another stretch of roofed upper gallery with one huge lintel spanning it at about 9 o'clock; this measures 2.13m (7ft) long, 61cm (2ft) wide and 25cm (l0in) thick. There is another raised lintelled void to the interior here. Some of the stones in the wall are very large; one on the south is 1.52m (5ft) long by 91cm (3ft) wide by 30cm (1ft) thick: its upper edge is 1.52m (5ft) above the ground.

Dimensions (taken from [2]); the internal diameter is c. 9.46m (31ft), the wall is about 5.64m (18.5ft) thick at the entrance so the overall diameter is probably about 20.74m (68ft). The wall proportion might therefore be about 54.5%.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 41 SW 1: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 19, no 49.

E W MacKie 2007

Field Walking (15 December 2010 - 1 April 2011)

NC 4329 0228 and NC 3856 1595 A desk-based assessment and walkover survey were carried out, 15 December 2010–1 April 2011, in advance of a native woodland planting scheme. The scheme consists of five planting areas. Areas 1–3 centred on Dalnaclave (NC 3856 1595) and areas 4–5 centred on Carn Beag, Rosehall (NC 4329 0228). The survey covered a c815ha area and the land ranged in height from 16m above sea level at Rosehall to 260m N of Dubh Coille.

The desk-based assessment identified two scheduled ancient monuments, Croich Broch (NC 4116 1121) and Langwell Fort and Dun (NC 4104 0084), whilst the survey identified land use features, which predated the sheep and deer forest. A number of features were marked out and exclusion zones defined. The protection of features from the effect of regenerating vegetation will be in included in any management plan.

Archive: RCAHMS

Funder: CKD Galbraith

Highland Archaeology Services, 2011


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