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Broch (Iron Age)

Site Name Langdale

Classification Broch (Iron Age)

Alternative Name(s) Langdale Burn

Canmore ID 5679

Site Number NC64SE 1

NGR NC 6926 4496

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Farr
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC64SE 1 6926 4496.

(NC 6926 4496) Broch (NR)

OS 6" map, (1961)

The remains of a broch occupying a commanding position on a ridge above the Langdale Burn. It has been built of large stones and has a diameter of about 31ft within a wall 15ft to 17ft thick. The inner face is exposed for a maximum height of 3ft. The entrance, 3ft wide at the outer end, is from the W, its S wall surviving to a height of 3ft 6ins and incorporating a built door-check.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

The broch is reduced to a tumbled mass of stone 1.5m high, but the internal wall face is traceable around almost the whole circuit. The external face is less apparent except on the W, where the entrance passage 1.0m wide can be seen. Internally the broch meausres 9.5m N-S by 8.7m transversely, with the wall 4.1m to 5.0m thick. Crude facing on the N side of the entrance may indicate a guard chamber.

Visited by OS (J L D) 7 May 1960 and (J B) 7 August 1978.


Publication Account (2007)

NC64 1 LANGDALE BURN (‘Lang-dale’)

NC/6926 4496

This broch stands on a steep, conical rock knoll next to the Langdale Burn (a quarter mile from the river Naver), with a more shallow slope on the upstream side (visited 11/7/63). There is a modern farm nearby and the site has a good outlook in all directions [3].

The entrance is on the west, facing upstream, and is about 4.58m (15ft) long and 91cm (3ft) wide at the outer end. A built door-check on the right (south) is 91cm (3ft) from the inner end and all the lintels have been displaced. There may be a rebate for an outer doorway in the ruined left wall, 1.3m from the exterior [3], so this broch may have had two doors in its entrance passage. There are signs of the upper part of a round mural cell at about 7 o'clock and this may be a guard cell on the left of the passage. The broch is full of debris so that the inner and outer wallfaces are mostly obscured. There are signs of a mural gallery on the wallhead at about 5 o'clock; this is probably an upper one since it seems to be above the level where the entrance lintels should be.

Dimensions: interior diameter 9.15m (30ft: author's measurement): wall 4.58m (15ft) thick at the entrance and 4.88-5.l9m (16-17ft) on the south side [2]: assuming an average thickness of 4.88m (16ft) the external diameter would be about 18.91m (62ft) and the wall proportion approximately 51%. Swanson gives the internal north/south diameter as 9.4m [3].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 64 SE 1: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 59-60, no. 177: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 739-41 and plan.

E W MacKie 2007


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