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Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Building (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Dunbrae

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Building (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Ballentink 2; Rhemullen

Canmore ID 8127

Site Number ND13SE 11

NGR ND 1532 3098

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

ND13SE 11 1532 3098.

(ND 1532 3098) Broch (NR) (remains of)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1979)

At Ballentink, about 200 yds SSW of the road bridge of Rhemullen, on a grassy hillock, the foundations of several circular enclosures built with large stones are visible beneath the turf. Towards the SE, an entrance passage has been partly exposed, passing beneath a large lintel and suggesting the entrance to a broch. The dimensions and outline of such a structure are not, however, evident. It is possible that the circular enclosures are secondary constructions superimposed on the ruin.

RCAHMS 1911.

The remains of a broch with associated settlement generally as described by the RCAHMS. The door-check and bar-hole are exposed at the entrance at the SE edge of the broch mound, together with a short stretch of curved, battered walling.

Visited by OS (N K B) 11 March 1968.

A turf-covered, level-topped mound, approximately 20.0m in diameter and 1.6m high, in the SE edge of which is visible the upper part of a broch entrance and an accompanying stretch of outside face to three courses high. The broch mound rises out of an irregular, more extensive mound, some 50.0m N-S by 40.0m transversely, enclosed by an early-modern field wall. The indications are that the latter mound conceals secondary occupation. Over the whole site there are superimposed footings of much later date.

Visited by OS (J M) 11 November 1982.


Publication Account (2007)

3: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 58, no. 214: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 700-02 and plan.

ND13 2 BALLENTRATH (‘Balan-trath’, 'Dunbeath Water')

ND/1439 3072

Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, in the shape of a quarried mound standing on a rock on the left bank of the Dunbeath Water, just opposite the junction with the Achorn Burn. A stretch of curved outer wallface about 2.0m long is exposed at one point and the greatest height of the mound, away from the river, is 2.75-3.05m (9-10 ft) [1]. Traces of the ditch have been reported on the north-east and south-east sides but Swanson says that there is nothing to be seen [3]. There a few courses of what may be an outer wall are showing on the north-west and again on the west-south-west [3]. The appearance of the site is of a broch mound on top of an artificial platform [3]. Swanson’s plan shows no significant masonry apart from the wallface.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 13 SW 6: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 58, no. 213: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 697-99 and plan.

ND13 3 BALLENTINK 1 ('Bridge of Rhemullen')

ND/1508 3135

Possible broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, consisting of a grassy knoll with num-erous projecting stones. Part of a curved wall 1.2m (4ft) high is exposed on the west side, and suggests a diameter of 20m [1]; a 1968 description strongly suggests that the site is a broch [1]. There are several upright stones and slabs in disturbed ground to the south-east of the mound, suggesting an outer settlement. The mound appears to have been extensively quarried to the extent that its identity as a broch must be uncertain [3].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 13 SE 12: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 71, no. 261: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 692-93 and plan.

ND13 4 BALLENTINK 2 (‘Dunbrae’, 'Rhemullen')

ND/1532 3098

Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, consisting of a large hillock on which traces of masonry can be seen, including an entrance passage with one large lintel. A door-check and a bar-hole were seen in the entrance (on the south-east) in 1968 [1] but not in 1985 [3], though the passage walls were then visible for a length of 1.8m [3]. There is also a short stretch of curved, battered wallface, and all these features imply that there is a broch inside the mound. There are traces of an outer wall on north and west arcs of the mound together with some signs of buildings in the outer court thus enclosed [3].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 13 SE 11: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 84, no. 304: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 694-96 and plan.

E W MacKie 2007


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