Raasay: The Island and Its People

By Norma Macleod | Go to book overview

APPENDIX I
Ancient Ruins Still Survive

As the song says, 'Ancient ruins still survive, I'm sure you know a few …' There are some ancient ruins about, and Raasay has its fair share. A short history of some of those on Raasay is given here.


The Broch (Iron Age)

The Broch stands in Borrodale Woods to the west of the Free Church, surrounded by trees. The trees that were planted very close to it have now grown and it is no longer possible to gain any real impression of the structure, as it might have been. In time, when these trees have been cut, it will be possible for further archaeological work to be carried out on this site leading to better knowledge and understanding of the ruin.

The Raasay Broch is of interest as, unlike others, it is oval in shape. It measures 16.5 m X 13.5 m over the walls. These walls are approximately 4 m thick.

For information, a general description of a broch is given here along with a diagram. This is taken from the Thesaurus of British Archaeology by Lesley and Roy Adkins.1

Brochs are found mainly in northern Scotland and the Western and Northern Isles (particularly the Orkneys and Shetlands), singly or in groups. A broch was a circular tower about 10m in internal diameter, with a drystone wall about 5m thick and up to 10m high. The walls had a slight batter on the outer face.

From the first-floor level the wall was usually in two sections about 1m apart, tied together by rows of stone lintels forming superimposed galleries. These were reached by stone staircases. There may have been an upper rampart walk. The ground-floor wall often had galleries and chambers

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