Ancient Monuments

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Loch of Clumly, broch

A Scheduled Monument in West Mainland, Orkney Islands

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Latitude: 59.0289 / 59°1'43"N

Longitude: -3.3053 / 3°18'18"W

OS Eastings: 325172

OS Northings: 1016488

OS Grid: HY251164

Mapcode National: GBR L46V.W3T

Mapcode Global: WH69N.6BB7

Entry Name: Loch of Clumly, broch

Scheduled Date: 11 September 1939

Last Amended: 26 March 2014

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM1423

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Sandwick

County: Orkney Islands

Electoral Ward: West Mainland

Traditional County: Orkney


The monument is the remains of a broch dating probably from the Iron Age (between about 600 BC and AD 400). It is visible as a substantial oval turf-covered stony mound, measuring around 19m in diameter and standing 2m in height. A stretch of about 12m of the outer wall-face of the broch tower is visible around its SW side and there is evidence of an intramural cell on the W side. The broch is located at the NW edge of the freshwater Loch of Clumly on a low-lying marshy promontory, which may originally have been an island. It is possible that an isthmus of slightly higher ground leading WSW from the broch to dry land at the loch edge may conceal a causeway. There are also indications of external structures to the S of the mound. The broch lies around 20m above sea level. The monument was first scheduled in 1939, but the documentation did not meet modern standards: the present rescheduling rectifies this.

The scheduled area is irregular on plan to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction and use is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Iron Age society in Orkney and the function, use and development of brochs. By analogy with excavated brochs in Orkney, this monument is likely to retain its structural characteristics to a marked degree and may have a complex development sequence given the indications of ancillary structures. There is considerable potential to for the survival of important archaeological deposits and structures. Its importance is enhanced by its loch-side location on marshy ground, which may allow for the preservation of rare waterlogged and organic materials, and for analysis of the monument's relationship with the adjacent loch and surrounding landscape. The monument's importance is enhanced by its association with the wider landscape of Iron Age brochs also located next to freshwater lochs nearby, for example around Loch Harray and Loch Stenness. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the development, use and reuse of brochs and the nature of Iron Age society, economy and social hierarchy in Orkney and further afield.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record the site as HY21NE 1.


Armit, I 2003, Towers of the North: The Brochs of Scotland. Tempus.

Ballin Smith, B (ed.) 1994, Howe, four millennia of Orkney Prehistory, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series 9.

Ballin Smith, B 2005, 'Orcadian Brochs ' Complex Settlements with Complex Origins', In Turner, V E, Dockrill, S J, Nicholson, R A and Bond, J M (eds) 2005, Tall Stories?: 2 millennia of brochs, Shetland Amenity Trust: Lerwick, 66-77.

Hedges, J 1987, Bu, Gurness and the Brochs of Orkney: part III: the brochs of Orkney, Brit Archaeol Rep, Brit Ser 165, 87.

Lamb, R G 1980, Iron Age promontory forts in the Northern Isles, Brit Archaeol Rep, Brit Ser 79, 81.

Mackie, E W 2002, The roundhouses, brochs and wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c.700BC-AD500: architecture and material culture, Part 1: The Orkney and Shetland Isles. Brit Archaeol Rep, Brit Ser 342, 222.

RCAHMS, 1946, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v Edinburgh, 252, no 678.

Ritchie, J N G 1988, The Brochs of Scotland. Aylesbury: Shire.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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