Ousdale Broch

Highland, United Kingdom

Ousdale Broch is an Iron Age broch located near the small settlement of Ousdale. It has an external diameter of around 16 metres. The main entrance is on the southwest and is 4.3 metres long with nearly all the roofing lintels still in position. The entrance passage is 1.78 metres high and 75 centimetres wide. The entrance passage contains two sets of door-checks, and there is also a guard-cell. The interior of the broch has a diameter of around 7 metres, and there is a doorway to the intra-mural stairway.

The site was excavated in 1891 by James Mackay, and the interior was thoroughly cleared out. Layers of ashes and charcoal were found on the floor, with many broken animal bones. There were also large quantities of common periwinkle and limpet shells, and many wild hazel nuts. A series of stone tanks were set into the floor. Finds included a metalworking crucible. Stone artifacts included a damaged 'hatchet', a granite mortar, several querns, stone discs, and several whetstones. There were large quantities of pottery. A segment of a jet bracelet was also found, and a fragment of a wooden dish or scoop.



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A9, Highland, United Kingdom
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Founded: 300-100 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in United Kingdom

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Debra Doser (45 days ago)
Quite a bit of a hike, but well worth it. We hiked up and was among the cows and sheep. It was so wonderful and literally like stepping back in time.
Scott (9 months ago)
Nice downhill walk to get to Ousdale Broch but it isn't so forgiving on the way back up the hill!. Really amazing bit of history and well worth the trek down and up.
Phil (10 months ago)
A historical site worth visiting. It's an easy walk on good paths from the car park (only a few slots). Informative and interesting information boards all the way down to the Broch. The Broch is located beautifully in a great landscape.
Emily Silva-Knox (12 months ago)
Beautiful walk. Short walk to the Ousdale ruins. I decided to follow the John O'Groats North trail a bit down to the water thereafter which was gorgeous.
Hannah (13 months ago)
Probably one of the best places we visited on our trip. We went around 4pm on a hot sunny day and we had the place completely to ourselves the entire time. The structure is absolutely fascinating and well-cared for. Take a moment to sit in silence outside the broch. It's one of the few moments we've had in our busy lives where there was no sound but the occasional chirp of a stonechat, bleet of a sheep, or the iconic call of a cuckoo. We were also fortunate enough to come across a slow worm sunning itself on the pathway and enjoyed the fields of bog cotton up by the abandoned village of Borg on the path there. There's ample parking for several vehicles at the top, and the walk down to the broch probably took about 15mins with plenty of informative signage along the way and a bench or two for the weary. The path is well maintained and it's not a particularly difficult walk.
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