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Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Golsary

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Burn Of Golsary; Rumster Forest

Canmore ID 8613

Site Number ND23NW 14

NGR ND 2057 3749

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND23NW 14 2057 3749.

(ND 2057 3749) Broch (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

The remains of a broch contained within a conical grassy mound, the outer face visible intermittently, indicating an overall diameter of 56ft. Built on a sloping rock on a ridge, it survives to a maximum height of 12ft, and is defended on the N by a rampart or wall with an external ditch, crossing the ridge at a distance of 18 or 20ft. The rampart is 3ft 6ins high on the inner side, and the flat-bottomed ditch is 27ft wide and 7ft deep. Traces of outbuildings occur along the slope of the ridge to the S.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A broch with outworks on a low, narrow ridge running N-S. The broch survives as a quarried, grass-covered mound of debris spread to 19.0m in diameter and 4.0m maximum height, with one or two stones of the outer face visible, giving an overall diameter of 15.7m. No other structural details are visible.

About 12m to the N the ridge has been cut through by a curving ditch 7.0m wide and 2.0m deep with the spoil thrown on both the inner and outer lips forming two ramparts, both about 4.0m broad and up to 1.0m high. Quarrying has almost completely destroyed the W half of the inner rampart. Outside the outer rampart is another ill-preserved ditch some 2.0m wide which may be contemporary. Similar terrain to the S of the broch appears to demand a defence, but there is no trace of one, nor of the outbuildings described by the RCAHMS. This area is occupied by quarry holes and two or three grassy platforms, probably of a later period.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (A A) 21 April 1972.

No change to previous field report.

Visited by OS (J M) 23 March 1983.

Scheduled as Golsary, broch on W bank of Burn of Golsary, Rumster Forest.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 11 December 2002.


Publication Account (2007)

ND23 5 GOLSARY ND/2057 3749

Possible broch in Latheron, Caithness, consisting of a conical grassy mound, on top of a rock, in which traces of the outer wallface are visible, indicating an overall diameter of 17.08m (56ft); it stands up to 3.6m (12ft) in height. On the north is an outer rampart or wall with an external ditch which crosses the ridge at a distance of 5.49-6.10m (18-20ft). The rampart is 1.05m (3ft 6in) high on the inside face and the flat-bottomed ditch is 8.24m (27ft) wide and 2.1m (7ft) deep. There is another rampart on the outer edge of the ditch with traces of a second ditch beyond [1].

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 23 NW 14: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 60, no. 220.

E W MacKie 2007

Field Visit (20 July 2012 - 30 August 2012)

A desk-based assessment and walkover survey were carried out 20 July – 30 August 2012 on 29 sites in the North Highland Forest District. The work was undertaken in order to update existing monument management plans with new detailed site descriptions, condition reports, fixed point photography and plans (RCAHMS Level 4) of 25 scheduled monuments and one unscheduled monument. Three additional scheduled monuments were surveyed in greater detail, (RCAHMS Level 1). Recommendations were also made for the conservation management of the sites. The sites visited and surveyed were:

NH 728 784 (SAM 4760) Provost’s Well homestead and enclosure

NC 688 348 (SAM 2513) Noc na h’Iolaire hut circles and clearance cairns

NC 557 027 (SAM 1784) Ruim Baile Fuir stone circle, cairns, hut circles and enclosure

NC 679 390 (SAM 1779) Lach an Righ stone circle

NC 600 149 (SAM 5401) Loch Beag na Fuaralachd prehistoric settlement

NC 623 139 (SAM 5084) Achadh nan Eun shieling

NC 597 149 (SAM 5081) Loch Beag na Fuaralachd cairn and shielings

ND 212 372 (SAM 573) Rumster Broch

NH 786 942 (SAM 5484) Glen Cottage long cairn

ND 205 374 (SAM 550) Golsary Broch

NC 602 146 (SAM 5159) Loch Beag na Fuaralachd shielings

NH 730 798 (SAM 4752) Carn Liath long cairn

NH 731 786 (SAM 4743) Provost’s Well hut circles and field system

NC 689 392 (SAM 2517) Meall a Choire Bhuidhe hut circles

NH 772 926 (SAM 5573) Proncy hut circle

NC 696 334 (SAM 2519) Cnoc Airigh an Leathaid hut circles

NH 681 942 (SAM 4505) Creagan Reamhan farmstead, kiln and fields

NH 728 767 (SAM 2916) Scotsburn Wood cairn

NH 747 780 (SAM 3129) Lamington Park cairn

NH 734 834 (SAM 4763) Redburn Cottage long cairn

NH 396 628 (SAM 2720) Little Garve Bridge

NC 604 124 (SAM 5161) Meall Meadhonach sheepfold

NC 608 112 (SAM 4560) Meall Meadhonach hut circles, field system and shielings

NC 687 370 (SAM 2514) Cnoc na Gamnha hut circles, burnt mound and clearance cairns

NC 619 124 (SAM 5093) Meall Meadhonach settlement and shielings

NH 782 944 (SAM 1885) Skelbo Wood Broch

NC 591 103 (SAM 1829) Altbreck Broch

NC 592 102 (SAM 5563) Altbreck homestead

NC 571 067 Ferry Wood Broch

Funder: Forestry Commission Scotland

Steven Birch, West Coast Archaeological Services

Lynn Fraser, Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services

Mary Peteranna, 2012


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