Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bruan, broch 85m south west of Tulloch Lea

A Scheduled Monument in Wick and East Caithness, Highland

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Latitude: 58.3386 / 58°20'19"N

Longitude: -3.1797 / 3°10'46"W

OS Eastings: 331026

OS Northings: 939508

OS Grid: ND310395

Mapcode National: GBR L6JP.D3J

Mapcode Global: WH6F0.4N3W

Entry Name: Bruan, broch 85m SW of Tulloch Lea

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1934

Last Amended: 10 May 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM529

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch

Location: Latheron

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Wick and East Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument is a broch, a complex stone-built substantial roundhouse, dating to the Iron Age (between 600 BC and AD 400). The broch is visible as a grass covered stony mound with traces of surviving walling. It sits on an artificial platform and there is a surrounding ditch and outer bank. The broch is located in an elevated position near the coast, about 80m above sea level.

The mound is approximately oval in shape, measuring around 3m in height and 14m in diameter with a slight depression in the centre. Short sections of walling and stone slabs are visible protruding through the turf. The surrounding ditch and bank survive best on the west, north and northeast, the ditch measuring around 6m in width and 2m in depth. A modern stone wall overlies the location of the ditch and bank on the east and south and beyond this wall the bank and ditch have been plough levelled and are no longer visible. Stonework is visible on the outer edge of the platform and a large depression with exposed stonework adjoining the outer bank on the north-northeast may represent an additional structure.

The scheduled area is circular on plan measuring 65m in diameter, centred on the broch, to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of a stone wall and post-and-wire fence. The monument was first scheduled in 1934, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains. The present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The 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 Caithness and the function, use and development of brochs. It is a well-preserved example of a broch mound with related outworks. The size of the upstanding mound indicates this monument is likely to retain its structural characteristics to a marked degree, with potential for significant survival of walls and features such as intramural cells. The broch adds to our understanding of settlement patterns and social structure during the Iron Age in Caithness and this potential is enhanced by the numerous brochs in the vicinity. The loss of the monument would significantly diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the development, use and re-use of brochs, and the nature of Iron Age society, economy and social hierarchy in the north of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 8934 (accessed on 04/05/2016).

The Highland Council HER reference is MHG2272 (accessed on 04/05/2016).

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

Feachem, R. (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. 1st. London.

MacKie, E. W. (2007) The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c. 700 BC - AD 500: architecture and material culture. Part 2 The Mainland and the Western Islands. BAR, vol 444. Oxford.

Mercer, R. J. (1985) Archaeological field survey in northern Scotland: volume III: 1982-3, University of Edinburgh, Department of Archaeology, Occasional Paper No. 11. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS. (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness. London.


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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