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Achies East

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Human Remains (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Achies East

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Human Remains (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Achies 2

Canmore ID 8303

Site Number ND15NW 13

NGR ND 1400 5565

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND15NW 13 1400 5565.

(ND 1400 5565) Cairn (NR) Human Remains found AD. 1850 (NAT)

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

The remains of a broch are evidenced by a large grassy mound measuring about 150ft in diameter and 12 to 14ft high. Above a steep scarp, which is some 6 to 8ft above field level, a terrace 12 to 20ft broad encircles the mound leaving an elevated area in the middle of about 78ft diameter. On the summit of this is a circular depression about 28ft in diameter and 5ft deep. The mound has been dug into from the SE (RCAHMS 1911). When opened in 1850, human remains were found (ONB 1872). Broch (Graham 1949).

Ordnance Survey Name Book (ONB) 1911; RCAHMS 1911; A Graham 1949

Although there is no trace of walling, there is no doubt that this feature, as described above, contains the remains of a broch.

Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 25 February 1965

(ND 1400 5565) Broch (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1970)

The remains of the broch, presumably contained by other structures now covered by the lower mound, are as described above.

Visited by OS (J B) 24 December 1981

'Broch', Achies East. Diameter: 44m. Circular grass-covered mound, with a circular depression 10 m diameter on its summit.

R J Mercer, NMRS MS/828/19, 1995


Field Visit (20 June 1910)

To the NW of Achanarras Hill, and some ½ m NE of Achies farm buildings, is a large grassy mound covering the ruins of a broch (RCAHMS 1911 pl. XIII). Overall it measures about 150' in diameter, and 12' to 14' in greatest elevation. Above a steep scarp, some 6' to 8' higher than the field level, a terrace varying from 12' to 20' in breadth encircles the mound, leaving an elevated area in the centre with a diameter of about 76'. On the summit of this is a circular depression with a diameter of about 28' and a depth of about 5'. The mound has been, to a small extent, dug into from the SE.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 20 June 1910

OS 6” map (1907) ‘Mound’

Publication Account (2007)

ND15 4 ACHIES 2 (‘Achies East’)

ND/1400 5565

Possible broch in Halkirk, Caithness, consisting of a large grassy mound some 46.8m (150ft) in diameter and 3.7-4.3m (12-14ft) high. There is a central mound c. 23.8m (78ft) in diameter – presumably the broch – on top of a flat platform which projects from under the mound as a terrace 3.7-6.1m (12-20ft) wide. The edge of the platform forms a steep scarp 1.8-2.4m (6-8ft) above field level. In the top of the central mound is a circular depression about 8.5m (28ft) in diameter and 1.5m (5ft) deep. The mound has been dug into from the south-east and human remains were found in 1850 [1]. There seems little doubt that the site is a broch, but it has to be categorised here a 'possible' because of the absence of visible masonry. There are traces of a surrounding wall or rampart with an outer ditch [4]. The plan [4] shows little.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 15 NW 13: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 31, no. 98 and pl. XIII: 3. Graham 1949, 94: 4. Swanson (ms) 1985, 648-49 and plan.

E W MacKie 2007


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