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The Broch of Gurness

What's a Broch?


It's an Iron Age, hollow-walled building constructed in the drystone manner. Which is to say they are walls constructed without mortar, relying on the skill of the stone mason to fit the stones. Drystone construction is thought to be the oldest form of stone use in building.


Orkney Islands has one of the largest concentrations of Iron Age drystone buildings in the world. Brochs are tall circular towers. Although a broch is a single building, the meaning has evolved to include all of the dwellings that surrounded the broch to create a small village. The two most significant examples of a well preserved broch village in Scotland are the Broch at Midhowe and the Broch of Gurness.


Here's a link to a great website on all things Orkney. I'm linking you directly to information about the Broch of Gurness, but this website is well worth taking some time to explore.

We spent the better part of one morning wondering around Gurness and trying to imagine what life may have been like in 200 BC. The signage at the Broch of Gurness showed an artist's rendering as it exists now.


And one of how it probably looked in 200 BC.


We visited many Iron Age, Pictish, & Neolithic sites while in Scotland, but the Broch of Gurness was one of our favorites.

Comments (2)

I learn something new all the time!

I would love to visit there. Thanks for sharing!

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