The Broch of Borwick is an Iron Age living structure. It has an external diameter of 17 metres and an internal diameter of 8 metres. The walls which are 3.5 to 5 metres thick currently stand to a maximum height of 2.6 metres. The eastern half of the broch and the entrance passage are well preserved, but the western half has been destroyed by erosion. The entrance passage, which is still lintelled over, is 5.6 metres long with door-checks each formed of a slab set on edge 3 metres from the outside. A guard cell opened off the right of the passage.

The broch was once cut off from the flat land beyond by an outer wall, and there were outbuildings between the wall and the broch.

The site was excavated in 1881 by W. G. T. Watt, and the interior was cleared of debris. Ashes, bones and shells mixed with clay were found under the rubble. Beneath this was a layer of small flat stones and under this the broch floor. Finds included several combs, a small whale vertebra cup, a spindle whorl, a stone gaming piece, a whetstone, hammerstones, some stone knives and choppers, an iron rod, and some querns.



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Founded: 500-200 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vincent Muir (2 years ago)
Never knew it was there till a friend told me about it,well worth a visit
Irene Dayer (2 years ago)
Favourite Broch...fantastic location on cliff top.
Brendan McGeary (2 years ago)
Thought this was incredible. Nobody really knows about it so there's nobody there even in peak times. Thought it was mesmerising standing on top of it looking out over the cliffs. Sadly it's in very poor condition but they can't fund the upkeep of every site. Short walk from the Yesnaby stop point, so definitely recommended. It's very small through, and most of it's overgrown so don't expect anything near what you'd find in Gurness, otherwise it'll be very underwhelming. I just found it amazing to stand and imagine having lived there in the side of the cliff.
Grant Bruce (2 years ago)
I parked up at Yesnaby and walked north over the headland. Once I got to the bay I struggled to see the Broch at first as it is built beautifully onto the clifftop. The Broch walls remain to about 3m. Stunning location and definitely worth a visit. You will find some finds from here in the Kirkwall museum.
Calum Mackenzie (3 years ago)
An excellent walk along some of Orkney's Jurassic Coast with stunning views & on a clear day you can see the Sutherlandshire Hills along with Caithness on mainland Scotland
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