Ancient Monuments

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Loch na Berie,broch and causeway

A Scheduled Monument in Sgir'Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch, Na h-Eileanan Siar

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Coordinates

Latitude: 58.2098 / 58°12'35"N

Longitude: -6.9337 / 6°56'1"W

OS Eastings: 110330

OS Northings: 935175

OS Grid: NB103351

Mapcode National: GBR 9780.WCC

Mapcode Global: WGX1K.GXG4

Entry Name: Loch na Berie,broch and causeway

Scheduled Date: 7 December 1993

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM5798

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Uig

County: Na h-Eileanan Siar

Electoral Ward: Sgir'Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch

Traditional County: Ross-shire

Description

The monument comprises the remains of a broch with associated external structures and internal occupation deposits, dating from the Iron Age to the late 1st millennium AD.

The monument is situated on an islet in Loch na Berie behind the Traigh na Berie machair at around 5m OD. The loch has now been reduced to a marsh with open water remaining only at its W extremity. A substantial stone causeway runs E-W across this open water for a distance of approximately 30m, linking the former islet to the shore.

Excavations in the 1980s demonstrated that the walls of the broch, formerly visible as a low, grassy mound, survive to first-floor level. The broch is 18m in overall basal diameter and approximately 3m in surviving "height" (largely preserved under modern ground level) with an E-facing entrance. Two concentric ground-level walls enclose a series of seven intra-mural cells, each opening off the interior. The overall wall width is some 3m. The longest of the galleries contains stairs to the first floor where an entrance to the interior of the broch is situated. The stairs continue up towards the (now removed) 2nd floor. The first floor intra-mural gallery runs around the entire broch and was entered through a single doorway from the interior at first-floor level, presumably from a vanished

wooden interior landing or stair.

The internal deposits show a long sequence of occupation culminating in a series of cellular houses which have yielded material of 5th-8th century date AD. As much as 2m of internal deposits, including waterlogged material, appears to survive below the excavated structures. The broch appears to have been abandoned around the time of the first Norse incursions into the Western Isles and no trace of Norse material has been identified on the site. Excavation concentrated on the interior of the broch and there is a strong likelihood of preserved, extra-mural structures under modern ground level on the former islet.

The area to be scheduled encompasses the broch and its causeway together with an area around them in which traces of associated structures and deposits may be expected to survive. It is irregular in shape with maximum dimensions of 100m E-W by 50m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to our knowledge of high-status settlement and economy in the period from the later 1st millennium BC to the 8th century AD. The rich sequence of occupation deposits and buildings, particularly the lower, waterlogged levels, may be expected to contain significant information for prehistoric domestic organisation and house construction. The waterlogged deposits will also contain significant material relating to the economy and environment of the period.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Sources

Bibliography

RCAHMS records the monument as NB13NW 3.

References:

Harding D W and Armit I 1990, 'Survey and Excavation in West Lewis' in Armit I (ed.) Beyond the Brochs, Edinburgh University Press, 71-107.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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