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Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Gailiable

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Gylable Burn

Canmore ID 7088

Site Number NC91NW 9

NGR NC 9487 1823

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

NC91NW 9 9487 1823.

(NC 9487 1823) Broch (NR).

OS 6" map, (1964)

On the E side of the Gylable Burn about 1/4 mile from the Helmsdale River is a ruinous broch, with only the base of the wall visible. There are no remains of outworks.

RCAHMS 1911.

The broch, situated on a low spur, has been severely robbed, and survives as a mound of bare stones, 2.0m high. The base footings of the outer face, and the inner face protrude intermittently through the tumble giving internal diameter of 8.5m and wall thickness of 4.4m. The entrance, choked with debris, is in the E, but no details can be seen. There are no outworks visible; a tumbled early modern wall extends from the NE and SSE sides of the broch.

Revised at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (J D) 2 June 1961 and (N K B) 7 April 1976.


Publication Account (2007)

NC91 5 GYLABLE BURN (‘Gailable’) NC/9487 1823

Probable broch in Kildonan, Suther-land, standing in a fairly open position on a low spur on the east side of the burn and about 0.25 miles from the river Helmsdale. There are the remains of a pre-Clearance township close by [3]. The structure is a badly ruined mound of stones 2m high and only the basal courses of the inner and outer faces can be intermittently traced; some of the blocks in the latter are very large. The entrance is on the east with the north (right) side of the passage partly preserved [4]. Just south (clockwise) of this is what appears to be the inner face of a gallery or cell in the wall. There are no outer defences.

Dimensions: the wallfaces suggest an internal diameter of 9.5m (31ft) and a wall thickness of 4.9m (16ft) [1]; Swanson gives the former as 7.8m east-west and 8.3mat right angles [4].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NC 91 NW 9: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 106, no. 311: 3. A Haggarty in DES 1983: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 787

E W MacKie 2007


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