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Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Farmstead (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Kiln (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Rinsary

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Farmstead (Period Unassigned)(Possible), Kiln (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Berriedale Water; Berriedale Church; Berriedale 2

Canmore ID 8100

Site Number ND12SW 4

NGR ND 1168 2335

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND12SW 4.00 1168 2335

(ND 1168 2335) Broch (NR)

OS 6" map, (1964).

ND12SW 4.01 ND 1168 2333 Farmstead (possible); Kiln

'High above the Berriedale Water on its N bank and about 1/4 ml W of Berriedale Church are the ruins of a broch. The structure much dilapidated and reduced to the lowest courses of masonry on the exterior. In one or two places the outer face of the wall, formed of very large stones, is exposed. The diameter over all is 54ft and the elevation to the top of the conical mound surmounting the ruins, 7 to 8ft. The posituon is flanked on the W by the side of a deep glen, and in front by the high, steep bank of the Berriedale valley.'

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

This site is generally as described above. The thickness of the broch wall and the internal diameter could not be determined due to the heavy mutilation of the site and the mass of rubble that has been piled up in the interior, to give a maximum height of 3.0m. The overall diameter of the broch has been 16.0m, as measured between the exposed wall faces.

A kiln (ND12SW 4.01) has been built into the SW segment, and other structures of a depopulated settlement are adjacent to the site.

Visited by OS (J L D), 15 June 1960.

A broch as described above.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R L), 7 March 1968.

No change to the previous field reports.

Visited by OS (J M), 24 November 1982.

This broch, which was recorded during a pre-afforestation survey of Langwell-Rinsary Braes, Berriedale, measures about 15m in diameter. No structural details of the broch are visible except for the outer face which can be traced for over half its circumference. The broch lies at the centre of a later farmstead. On the NE, the outer face of the broch forms the SW end of a long building whilst on the SW a kiln-barn (ND12SW 4.01) has been dug into the broch.

S Carter and J Rideout (Headland Archaeology), 3 March 1999; NMRS MS 899/141, no.11.


Publication Account (2007)

ND12 2 BERRIEDALE 2 ('Rinsary', 'Berriedale Water 1', 'Berriedale Church') ND/1168 2335

Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, high above the Berriedale Water, and consisting of a conical mound 2.1-2.4m (7-8ft) high containing a very dilapidated circular building; the lowest course of the curved outer wallface is visible in places. The overall diameter is 16.5m (54ft) . On the west is the side of a steep glen and in front is the steep side of the Berriedale valley. A later survey gives the building a diameter of 15.0m on the basis of the outer wallface, which can be traced for more than half its circumference [3]. A later farm-stead, now abandoned, has been built round the broch and one building has been dug into it.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 12 SW 4: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 56, no. 205: 3. S. Carter in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland 1999, 57.

E W MacKie 2007


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