Càrn Liath is an Iron Age broch on the eastern shore of the Scottish Highlands. The broch has an external diameter of around 19 metres and an internal diameter of around 10 metres. The entrance passage is on the east side and is over 4 metres long. The entrance has elaborate door checks and a bar-hole to control access to the interior. On the right-hand side of the entrance passage is a small guard cell. The surrounding enclosure contains the ruins of additional stone buildings.

The broch was first excavated in the 19th century by the Duke of Sutherland, and was initially thought to be a burial cairn. Finds included pottery, flint chips, stone hammers, mortars and pestles, querns, whorls, shale rings, long-handled bone combs, a whale bone club, a silver fibula, steatite cups and an iron blade.

The site was excavated again in 1986. This showed that the site was occupied in the Bronze Age, before the broch was built. A Bronze Age cist burial with a food vessel was discovered. The foundations of many outbuildings were found in the enclosure surrounding the broch. Although many were clearly from a later period, some may have been contemporary with the broch.



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A9, Highland, United Kingdom
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Founded: 300 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom


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User Reviews

Tork Mackenzie (14 months ago)
Definitely worth a half hour detour from the trip up north , park in the layby but access is by crossing the A9 away from the cairn and then down a farm track. Its very well preserved and has panels to show how it would have looked when it was being used , plenty to explore and climb over and all with a fantastic view over the sea. Be careful when crossing the road.
A W (14 months ago)
Really lovely piece of history to visit. Car park is across the road. Be sure to cross at the correct place as its very busy.
Samuel Owen (14 months ago)
Well worth a 20 minute stop for a break and a reset. Truly incredible to see and believe what it could have been like in those times. Take your time and really walk around the structure imagine living there with the fishing and farming at the front and the woods at the back. Truly awesome.
Invented In Scotland (17 months ago)
Great wee place. Needed to Cross the main A9 road to get to it from the Car park. ➕?️
Keith Bowman (2 years ago)
Really interesting example of a broch in a stunning coastal setting. Be aware that the parking is on the opposite side of the busy A9 road and the footpaths that take you 100 yards or so to a safe crossing place where not well sign posted when we visited (July 2021).
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