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Neck Of Brough

Fort (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Neck Of Brough

Classification Fort (Period Unassigned), Hut Circle(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 7984

Site Number ND07SE 1

NGR ND 0609 7094

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/7984

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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND07SE 1 0609 7094.

(ND 0609 7094) Fort (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

Broch (site of): Mr Banks (J Banks, Thurso), an old and very intelligent man, and Mr Cairncross (J Cairncross, Thurso), inform me that this place was once fortified, and that it is not many years since portions of the fortifications were visible - in fact cropping stones may now be seen here and there, similar to those at the Old Camp at Holburn Head (ND17SW 1).

Name Book 1872.

An L-shaped, cliff-girt promontory fort angling round to lie parallel with the mainland from which it is separated by a deep geo. Along the landward edge is a grass-covered bank from which traces of dry-stone walling protrude. The isthmus, which is lower, has been wave-scoured to bare rock and no defensive features survive. No other structures are visible on the promontory.

RCAHMS 1911; R G Lamb 1980; Visited by OS (N K B) 22 October 1964.

The only approach to the promontory is from the SW by an isthmus 2m in maximum width. The lightly built, turf-covered wall, 0.5m high and 1.5m broad, stretching 56.0m along the S edge of the promontory crowns a sheer cliff and is superfluous as a defence. There is no indication that it continued across the isthmus, though it is probable that it has been eroded away.

The remains appear to be of considerable antiquity, but the light build and position of the wall do not suggest an Iron Age fortification. It is possible that this has been a Celtic monastic settlement, the wall being a demarcation rather than a defence (cf. NC46NW 4 & 5).

Visited by OS (N K B) 19 August 1981.

A promontory fort, 70m NW-SE by 45m, comprising a grass-covered slab wall, 1.3m high, running along the edge of the geo. There are hut circles nearby.

R J Mercer 1981.

Features on isthmus, probably removed by wave scour.

R Lamb 1981 (see archive).

Activities

Note (13 February 2015 - 18 May 2016)

In the 19th century this precipitous promontory was thought to have been fortified (Name Book, Caithness, No.11, p 51), though there is very little evidence of any defences today. Separated from the mainland cliffs on the S by a deep geo, the promontory is only connected to the shore by a heavily eroded, razor-backed neck approaching from the W, and the only evidence that it has been enclosed are traces of a wall reduced to a stony bank extending along its S margin. The summit area, which measures about 65m from ENE to WSW by 45m transversely (0.23ha), is featureless.

Information from An Atlas of Hillforts of Great Britain and Ireland – 18 May 2016. Atlas of Hillforts SC2815

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