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Warehouse Hill

Bridge (Period Unassigned), Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Warehouse Hill

Classification Bridge (Period Unassigned), Broch (Iron Age)(Possible), Building(S) (Period Unassigned), Quarry (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 9050

Site Number ND34SW 43

NGR ND 30348 41227

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND34SW 43 30348 41227.

(ND 3034 4124) Broch (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1976)

The remains of a broch occupying the E end of a grassy hillock flanked on the S and E by a broad ditch and on the N and W by a rampart with the burn forming an extra defence.

The base of the outer wall is spread in several places giving an overall diameter of 60ft and a height of 11ft. Between the base of the broch and the rampart on the W are the turf-covered remains of outbuildings. RCAHMS 1911, visited 1910.

A grass-covered broch mound about 2.0m high. An excavation round the W arc has uncovered the outer face to a height of six courses and 1.5m and also the outside end of the entrance passage which is 0.8m wide. One or two stones of the outer face are visible intermittently around the rest of the periphery giving an overall diameter of 15.6m. No other structural details can be seen.

Outside the W arc are the amorphous traces of outbuildings, including part of a corbelled structure.

In the S is a natural gulley about 10.0m wide which is probably the original bed of the nearby stream. In the E, stretching between the end of this gulley and the present course of the stream to the N, is a ditch about 15.0m long, 5.0m wide and 0.6m deep with a denuded rampart on its outer lip about 3.5m wide and 0.4m high. 5.0m outside the broch in the N is another denuded rampart about 3.0m wide and 0.6m high which may be a continuation of the rampart in the E, although there is now a gap of 12.0m which has possibly been eroded by the stream. The rampart continues to the W where it is mutilated by the secondary buildings and its course is difficult to determine.

About 150m to the W of the broch, on a rocky escarpment, are traces of an amorphous structure, and between this and the broch are traces of early field walls, crossed by 19th century walls.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (I S S) 15 March 1972.

The remains of this broch (YARROWS04 443) occupy the E end of a low, flat-topped knoll on the left bank of the Burn of Warehouse, 100m N of the ruined farmsteading of Warehouse (ND34SW 100.1). The broch has been reduced to a grass-grown mound of rubble measuring up to 20.8m in diameter by at least 4m in height. The mound has been subject to some excavation and this has revealed the entrance to the broch on the WSW and stretches of outer wall-face to either side. The entrance passage, of which a length of 1.4m has been cleared, measures 0.8m in width and stands 1m high, though there are no lintels visible. The uneven surface of the summit of the mound indicates that some excavation has also taken place here.

The W end of the knoll on which the broch stands is enclosed by a grass-grown bank some 2m in thickness and 0.6m in internal height. Elsewhere a broad, poorly-drained natural hollow at the foot of the knoll on the S and SE has been extended N by a ditch 6m in breadth and at least 1m in depth to link with the gully of the Burn of Warehouse. Outside this ditch there is a low counterscarp bank.

There are traces of several buildings within the enclosure on the W end of the knoll; in most cases they have been reduced to low, amorphous grass-grown mounds, but the subrectangular form of two (YARROWS04 431 & 432) can discerned, the NE of which has been partly excavated to reveal a short length of corbelled walling.

On the opposite side of the Burn of Warehouse to the N there is a small quarry (YARROWS04 434), which measures about 12m from NW to SE and appears to have simply exploited the NE face of an exposure of living rock. A bridge (YARROWS04 433) formed from a sandstone slab supported on dry-stone abutments, crosses the stream between the quarry and the broch.

(YARROWS04 431-434, 443)

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 10 May 2004


Publication Account (2007)

ND34 14 WAREHOUSE (‘Warehouse Hill’) ND/3034 4124

Probable broch in Latheron, Caith-ness, consisting of a grass-covered mound about 2.0m high and sited on the east end of a grassy hillock which may be partly artificial [3]. There is a broad ditch to the south and east and a rampart on the north and west and, in addition, a burn runs past the site outside the rampart.

The base of the outer wallface can be traced from the south-west round to the north, and stands to a height of up to six courses, that is 1.5m [1, 3]. The estimated diameter is about 18.3m (60ft) [1]. The outer end of the entrance passage, 0.8m wide, is on the west by south-west (Illus. 7.89). The meaning of the phrase "There are traces of a corbelled gallery opening from the north (left) side of the entrance passage at the innermost visible limit." [3] is not entirely clear; mural galleries are almost invariably lintelled so there may be a corbelled guard cell here. The earlier mound projects from the broch to the west and there are traces of structures of uncertain type on its surface.

Sources: 1. NMRS site no. ND 34 SW 43: 2. RCAHMS 1911b, 50, no. 90: 3. Mercer 1985, no. WAR 76 and fig. 59.

E W MacKie 2007


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