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Upper Sour

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Upper Sour

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 8545

Site Number ND16SW 4

NGR ND 1085 6056

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND16SW 4 1085 6056.

(ND 1085 6056) Broch (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map, (1970)

A large grassy mound, sloping away gradually to the S, and containing the ruins of a broch at its N end, has been quarried to some extent, but no wall is exposed anywhere. The diameter of the mound has been from 60 to 70ft, and some 8 or 9ft in height.


Classified as a broch.

A Graham 1949

The greatly mutilated remains of the grass-covered mound are now almost square due to ploughing on two sides; it now measures 33.0m across by 2.7m high. The only distinguishable feature is a small kerb-like section 0.3m high on the SE side. There is a modern cairn on the N segment. Resurveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (R D) 16 February 1965

The remains of a broch surviving as a mound surmounting a larger mound, all overgrown with rough grass. The broch mound is about 18.0m in diameter and 1.5m high but it is truncated on the N side by ploughing, and mutilated by surface quarrying. A content of slabs is exposed in the N flank. The larger mound is as described by the previous authorities.

Visited by OS (N K B) 15 February 1982

'Broch', Upper Sour. Dimensions: 35 x 34m. Subcircular grass-covered mound 4m high quarried on the SW side. Coursing is visible on the NW side. At the top there is a platform 16m in diameter, surmounted by a modern cairn.

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


Publication Account (2007)

ND16 16 UPPER SOUR ND/1085 6056

Possible broch in Halkirk, Caithness, consisting of a large grassy mound 2.4-2.7m (8-9ft) in height in which no traces of masonry can be seen. This is another classic Caithness 'mound on mound' site [3] and it has been partly quarried.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 16 SW 4: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 35, no. 114: 3. Swanson (ms) 1985, 639.

E W MacKie 2007


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