A record of our ancient Brochs, Hill-forts and Sculptured Stones of Scotland

About Scottish Brochs



The purpose of ‘brochs.co.uk’ is to create a photographic record of all those listed on Canmore and any new sites which are discovered. This record gives such information as general dimensions, entrance orientation, footprint complexity, place in its landscape and site distribution. Each site has its identity numbers both for Canmore and for the Highland Environmental Record ( HER) along with its OS grid reference. Special notes about unique features and finds and possible site name translations are included as appropriate.
This record will enable research to discover patterns and similarities linked to cultural identities. Aspects such as entrance orientation have links to the Bronze Age hut circles and, further back, to the Neolithic Age burial cairns. A timespan of over 3000 years.


Brochs are exclusive to present-day Scotland with the majority being found north and west of the Great Glen. Nearly 200 lie within the Highland Council area while Orkney has more than 110 and Shetland has a similar number.

The Western Isles and the southern Inner Hebrides account for another 40 or so examples. The remaining brochs are in the south of Scotland spread in pockets from the Borders, through the upper Forth Valley, Fife to Tayside. These southern brochs seem to have a later date of construction in the first century AD and have been linked to Roman influence. 6


Details for each site include both its RCAHMS and HER identity number and the scheduled protection status.

The OS grid reference and locality is given along with accessibility and any sites which are of especial interest is highlighted. For example, the subterranean passage at Applecross broch in Wester Ross or the boat-shaped cistern at Keiss Whitegate in Caithness are illustrated.


Possible souterain at Applecross Broch Boat-shaped 'well' feature at Whitegait Broch

The finding of exotic artefacts such as Roman glass, painted pebbles and metalwork is also recorded.

Those sites with little or nothing to see are also noted accordingly, usually as green hillocks.

Where plans are available they are redrawn as a schematic diagram to show essential details. The landscape setting of each broch is described and any external structures are noted as are other types of site in the vicinity.

 Those with no plans available are drawn schematically from field notes of site visits using simple recording techniques and any errors are those of the recorder.