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Scrabster Mains

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Scrabster Mains

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 7810

Site Number ND06NE 4

NGR ND 0867 6969

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Thurso
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND06NE 4 0867 6969.

(ND 0867 6969) Brough (NR)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

Pict's House (remains of): This is very much broken down, but it still has a large appearance. There are two ditches and though greatly destroyed, they still shown an artificial feature that has at one time encircled the centre part of building.

Name Book 1872.

There is a mound containing a broch. The mound is encircled by a ditch 32ft in width and 8ft to 9ft deep with a bank formed from the upcast crowning the counter-scarp; from the top of the scarp rises a parapet wall or rampart about 3ft high. The ruin is about 20ft back from the parapet and completely covered with grass; it is 73ft in diameter, 4 to 5ft high, while the depression marking the extent of the interior is 32ft in diameter.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of this broch are generally as described above. The ditch, which has a bank on both its sides, has been obliterated on the E side, only the inner scarp being now traceable. A small enclosure, probably of later date, abuts onto the outer bank of the ditch on the SW.

Revised at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (W D J) 16 April 1962.

(ND 0867 6969) Broch (NR) (remains of)

OS 6"map, (1969)

A broch, as described by the previous authorities.

Visited by OS (N K B) 24 August 1981.

A broch comprising a grass-covered mound, 16m in diameter and 3m high, bounded on the N by two banks. The inner (12m from the broch) is 48 by 32m; the outer (a further 12m away) is 60 by 46m.

R J Mercer 1981.


Publication Account (2007)

ND06 9 SCRABSTER MAINS ('Brough') ND/0867 6969

Possible broch in Thurso, Caithness, consisting of a grassy mound surrounded by a ditch and bank [2]. A survey in 1962 claimed that the mound clearly contained a broch [1] but a more recent one produced a plan which shows no broch masonry and discloses two banks on the north; the existence of the ditch is doubted [3]. This site seems likely to be the same as the one described as a 'Pict's house' which was alleged to have been opened up a few years before 1911 and a few coins dug up [4].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 06 NE 4: 2. RCAHMS 1911a, 118, no. 429: 3. Mercer 1981, 81, fig. 33 and 149, no. 449: 4. NMRS site no. ND 06 NE 8.

E W MacKie 2007


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