Understanding the Broch

The discovery of Castle Craig broch in 2011 was a big surprise. The excavations revealed circular walls 5m thick which stood in places to height of 2m but the 23m diameter structure enclosed an interior of only 12m. These are the classic proportions of a broch. Excavations showed that the broch had been burned down and levelled, which helps to explain the preservation of so many artefacts.

The broch occupies a valuable strategic position overlooking the Roman road and the frontier on the Gask Ridge. To better understand the setting of the broch, low level aerial photographs were used to create a 3D digital model of the terrain, which brings out the different phases of defensive architecture. The early Iron Age defences survive as a low bank encircling the base of the hill. The Roman period broch on the summit is hidden within the flat of destruction rubble, but it stood between the construction quarry to the south and the partially infilled ditch on the north side of the summit. The thin pear-shaped bank enclosing the summit held a timber palisade and was built around 1000 AD.


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