Burroughston Broch is an Iron Age structure located on the island of Shapinsay. Excavated in the mid 19th century, Burroughston Broch is still well-preserved. The drystone walls are up to four metres thick in some parts and there is a complete chamber intact off the entrance passage. Some remains of stone fittings are evident in the interior.

The walls of Burroughston Broch have an external diameter of around 18 metres, and an internal diameter of around 10 metres. From the outside, the building appears as a grassy mound, and little of the outer wall is exposed.

The entrance passage is on the east side, and is about 4 metres long, 1.2 metres wide and 1.8 metres high. There is an elongated guard room opening from the left side of the passage. Inside the broch, the outer face of the upper gallery is still visible, and traces of an opening to the upper gallery are still apparent. A deep well is present in the broch floor: the upper part being dry stone masonry, the lower being cut into the rock.

In the sloping area in front of the broch entrance are traces of 'out-buildings' now covered with turf. A wall, ditch and rampart, which probably once encircled the broch, are still evident around the structure.

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Address

B9058, Orkney, United Kingdom
See all sites in Orkney

Details

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

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

alicja pludowska (6 months ago)
Very well preserved building from the iron age era.
Mario P (6 months ago)
Absolutely must when on Shapinsay!!!
Martyn Smith (8 months ago)
Remote and atmospheric. Nice place for a picnic.
Kim Allen (3 years ago)
Quite a lot of this ruin intact. Really interesting. Lovely position
Peter Asprey (3 years ago)
An interesting broch, however the path is a little over grown in places, but the walk is worth it. Another hidden gem, and free to walk round and explore the history. Allow about an hour to walk and explore.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.