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
See all sites in Highland


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

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robin Herrick (2 years ago)
Maryann Morgan (2 years ago)
Cracking walk from Badbea Clearance Village walking South along the marked John O'groats coastal path. Excellent ravine scrambles. Couldn't get large dog over last style to the broch so visited separately and walked back the way we came. (Only 4 stars given due to lack of large dog access).
Craig Robertson (3 years ago)
This is really hard to get to but so worth it. I can't believe people don't know about places like this up here. there isn't even a sign or a path. bring walking boots.
Aaron Maclean (3 years ago)
Impressive but difficult access.
Caithness Broch Project (3 years ago)
The best preserved broch in Caithness
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