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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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Magda L (2 months ago)
Nice walk to broch. Bit tricky to find but once you spot a path the rest is easy. Worth seeing in you are on the way
Alison M (3 months ago)
This looks like it would be a great broch to visit with a lovely walk down to it. We travelled up to see it and stopped at a few lay-bies but couldn't find the path to it. A sign on the A9 would have helped. I couldn't get any reception to look at a satellite map so we just visited badbea village and another, different abandoned house and stopped off at Cairn Liath broch on the way back which was very nice.
Owen Whymant (6 months ago)
Beautiful example of a Scottish broch, one of the best preserved ones I've seen, recently been stabilised to prevent further decay. Has a nice new path with benches and information signs on the surrounding geography and on the broch itself. Well worth a visit.
Catriona Andrews (6 months ago)
Parking area safely off the main A9. A well made path leads to the Broch dotted with information boards on the history of this ancient site. Walking with young children was enjoyable but close supervision is required close to the Broch due to a steep drop on one side of the path. Once in the Broch, children can explore easily. The walk took us approx 45mins each way, with rest stops on the benches provided to enjoy spectacular views.
Robin Herrick (11 months ago)
New path from lay-by on A9 (just south of marked lay-by) makes access to the broch a lot easier, though still requires reasonable fitness. Interpretation panels along the path and a couple of benches where you can rest, enjoy the view, or have a picnic. Report any problems to caithnessbrochproject@gmail.com
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