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An Dun

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name An Dun

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Allt An Duin; Berriedale Water; Berriedale 1

Canmore ID 8068

Site Number ND12SW 10

NGR ND 1033 2492

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/8068

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND12SW 10 1033 2492

(ND 1033 2492) An Dun (NAT)

Broch (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964)

Broch, 'An Dun': On the top of the steep banks in the angle between the Allt an Duin and the Berriedale Water, stands the ruins of a broch. The tower occupies the centre of a hillock, and has been encircled at its base by a ditch, 16ft in width and some 6ft in depth on the SW, but less well defined on the other portion of the periphery. The entrance, which has been from the W, is 2ft 6ins in width but is much broken down. On the left of the passage has been a guard chamber, the back of which is visible at 14ft back from the wall of the passage. The diameter of the broch over all has been 46ft, and the thickness of its wall, 11ft. The greatest height of wall exposed on both faces is about 3ft. To the SW of the entrance, a break in the counterscarp of the ditch gives access to a small circular enclosure dug out of the bank with a diameter of about 11ft.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

Generally as described by the RCAHMS, the broch is now in a vary dilapidated condition, and is some 14.0m in diameter over walls about 3.7m thick, now reduced to 1.0m in height. The interior is a mass of rubble. On the NE side there are traces of possibly three ditches, but the N and E segments have been mutilated by later crofting activities. A small compartment, measuring some 5.6 by 4.0m, has been dug out of the enclosing bank, SW of the entrance.

Visited by OS (W D J), 4 July 1960.

An Dun, a broch with outer defences, as described by the previous authorities.

Revised at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (N K B), 9 November 1982.

Activities

Publication Account (2007)

ND12 1 BERRIEDALE 1 ('An Dun', 'Berriedale Water 3', 'Allt an Duin 3')

ND/1033 2492

Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, standing in a prominent position on the moor, on top of steep banks between the junction of two burns, the Berriedale Water and Allt an Duin. It stands on the centre of a hillock which is encircled by an outer ditch 4.88m (16ft) wide and 1.83m (6ft) deep; on the north-east side there are traces of possibly three ditches [1]. The main entrance is on the west but cannot now be measured; in 1910 it was recorded as 76cm (2ft 6in) wide [2]. A guard cell on its left is apparent of which the back wall is visible 4.27m (14ft) from the passage. The greatest height of wall visible is 90cm (3ft). The interior is now a mass of rubble [1]. The external diameter is 14.0m (46ft) (except-ionally small, unless the wall is still standing to a considerable height, which seems unlikely) and the wall is about 3.36m (11ft) thick; the internal diameter is thus probably about 7.3m (24ft) and the wall proportion c. 47.8%.

Sources: 1 NMRS site no. ND 12 SW 10, with sketch plan: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 54, no. 203.

E W MacKie 2007

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