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Little Dunsinane

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Little Dunsinane

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Balmalcolm

Canmore ID 72098

Site Number NO23SW 25

NGR NO 22253 32529

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/72098

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Cargill
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Activities

Field Visit (5 May 1989)

NO23SW 25 22253 32539

NO 2225 3253 Situated on a rocky knoll on the W side of the Sidlaw Hills and some 150m SW of, and below, Little Dunsinane, there is what is probably a small broch. It sits at a height of 3-5m above the surrounding moorland and has been heavily robbed. Little of the inner face survives, but there are several facing-stones on the NE arc and the top edge of the turf-covered rubble scarp elsewhere indicates an original internal diameter of about 12m. The outer face is set below and up to about 5.5m from the inner face, and on the SW it survives to a height of 1.25m in three or four courses. At this point, and elsewhere, the large basal blocks of the outer face are underpinned by smaller boulders, and, where it is best-preserved, the wall is clearly battered.

The entrance is on the E where access to the top of the knoll is easiest; it measures about 5.5m in length by 1m in width and is defined on each side of the passage by at least three facing-stones. Outwith the entrance there is a small annexe enclosed by a boulder-faced stone wall measuring about 2.5m in thickness and no more than 0.3m in external height. This wall is poorly preserved and, at its N end may have returned to abutt the outer face of the main structure. At its S end, the wall may have continued onto a section of outcropping. An entrance gap measuring about 3m in width, lies opposite the entrance to the main structure, and a little to the S of the main entrance there are the shallow remains of a small quarry pit.

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, SPH) 5 May 1989.

Publication Account (2007)

Square NO23

NO23 1 LITTLE DUNSINANE (‘Bal-malcolm’)

NO/2225 3252

This probable broch in Cargill is situated on a rocky knoll on the west side of the Sidlaw Hills and some 150m south-west of, and below, Little Dunsinane. The following description is a summary of that by the Commission’s investigators [2] but the site is long known, having been mentioned in both the Old and the New Statistical Account.

The structure is 3-5m above the surrounding moorland and has been heavily robbed. There are several stones of the inner wallface on the north-east and the top edge of the turf-covered rubble scarp elsewhere indicates an original internal diameter of about 12m. The outer face is set below and up to about 5.5m from the inner face, and on the south-west it survives to a height of 1.25m in three or four courses. At this point, and elsewhere, the large basal blocks of the outer face are underpinned by smaller boulders, and, where it is best-preserved, the wall is clearly battered.

The entrance is on the east where access to the top of the knoll is easiest; it measures about 5.5m in length by 1m in width and is defined on each side of the passage by at least three facing-stones. Outside the entrance there is a small annexe enclosed by a boulder-faced stone wall measuring about 2.5m in thickness and no more than 0.3m in external height. This wall is poorly preserved and, at its northern end, may have returned to abut the outer face of the main structure. At its southern end, the wall may have continued onto a section of outcropping. An entrance gap, measuring about 3m in width, lies opposite the entrance to the main structure, and a little to the south of the main entrance there are the shallow remains of a small quarry pit.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. NO 23 SW 25: 2. RCAHMS 1994, 51, 74 and 158.

E W MacKie 2007

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