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Lower Camster

Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Site Name Lower Camster

Classification Broch (Iron Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 8675

Site Number ND24NE 5

NGR ND 25556 45607

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND24NE 5 2555 4558.

(ND 2555 4558) Broch (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

The remains of a broch surmount a rounded rock about 12ft high on the summit of a rocky escarpment 12 to 15ft high. Two segments of what appears to be the turf-covered wall of the broch rise to a height of 3 to 4ft indicating an approximate diameter of 78ft externally and 34ft internally. No wall-face is visible.

The sides of the rock are steeply scarped on the W and E and these sides are also defended (at a distance of 20ft from the broch) by a trench 30ft wide and 3 to 4ft deep at the counterscarp.

The entrance has probably been from the N where there has been disturbance and where there may have been outbuildings.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

The remains of a broch of a roughly circular natural knoll on the brink of a rocky escarpment.

The knoll has been roughly levelled and its sides scarped and there is evidence in mutilations that a wall has occupied the rim enclosing a circular area about 32.0m in diameter. The broch has been placed centrally within this enclosure and has been robbed from the W so that all that survives is a low,turf-covered hollowed mound about 20.0m in diameter and 1.5m maximum height in which no structural details are evident. The area between the broch and the outer wall in the W is mutilated by three elongated hollows which may be due to quarrying although one or two upright slabs suggest that there have been outbuildings here.

The broch has apparently been encircled in the W, N and E by a ditch which has terminated at each end on the escarpment. It survives for a length of about 40.0m in the E where it is 12.0m broad and 1.2m deep, but elsewhere, apart from a fragment on the edge of the escarpment in the W, it has been ploughed out.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (I S S) 12 April 1972.

No change to the above report.

Visited by OS (J M) 8 December 1982.


Field Visit (30 June 1910)

Some 300 yards E of Camster farm, which is situated on the high moorland between the villages of Watten and Latheron, and some 6 m. S of the former, is a broch. Overlooking a track of marshy ground to the E of the Camster burn is a rocky escarpment, from the edge of which rises to a height of some 12' around rock, cut off from the rising slope on the E and W by a trench some 30' wide. The sides of the rock are steeply scarped on the W to a height of about 12' and to a somewhat less extent on the E, while to the southward the rocky face from the base of the prominence falls away for some 12' to 15' more. Below the counterscarp, which is visible only on the E. and W. flanks, the depth of the trench is some 3' to 4'. From the top of the scarp towards the base of the broch the usual terrace, some 20' in width, appears to intervene. This is very apparent on the E and W, but on the N the surface is much disturbed, and in this direction has probably been the entrance and outbuildings. Two segments of what appear to be the circular wall of the broch project for some 3' to 4' from the surface, indicating a diameter over all of some 78' and an interior diameter of about 34'; but as the whole mound is covered with thick turf, and no wall face visible, these measurements can only be held to be approximate.

RCAHMS 1911, visited 30 June 1910

OS 6” map (1907) 'Brough'

Publication Account (2009)

ND24 2 CAMSTER 2 (‘Lower Camster’) ND/2555 4558

This possible broch in Watten, Caithness, stands on a rounded rock about 3.6m (12ft) high on the summit of a rocky escarpment 3.6-4.5m (12-15ft) high. Two segments of what appear to be the turf-covered wall of the broch survive, but no wallfaces can be seen. An approximate external diameter of 23.8m (78ft) and an internal one of 10.7m (35ft) are indicated. The site seems to have been encircled by a ditch on the west, north and east, which stops at the escarpment at each end.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 24 NE 5: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 163, no. 522.

E W MacKie 2007


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