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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Broch of Gurness

Winter I don't do much and so don't have much to post, summer is so busy I don't have TIME to post.  Anyway here are some photos of the Broch of Gurness that I visited recently when a friend came to stay.

Brochs were built during the Iron Age and are unique to Scotland, mostly at the northerly tip and also the Northern Isles (Orkney & Shetland). They may have been built as defensive structures or as status symbols.  Either way they are quite impressive, with much of the stone work remaining.  This broch, like many others, was two stories high with a central staircase. The one at Gurness in Evie is well worth a visit.  Here are some photos - it's close to the shore with the island of Rousay across Eynhallow Sound.

The site is managed by Historic Scotland and there is a small museum/interpretation centre for visitors.  Here is a picture of a model of a completed broch. Obviously there is some speculation as to final construction and use, but there is enough stone for quite a bit of interpretation.

The central part is circular with various "houses" outside, and the whole surrounded by ditches.

The ditch - currently colonised by primulas!

It's possible to walk around inside.....

These lined pits are thought to have been filled with water and maybe held fish, lobster etc.

And the staircase I mentioned!

In, looking out....

Out, looking in....

Outside you can see remains of some dwellings.  This is thought to be a fire pit in the centre of a house.

And one final look back at the broch and village, and over the Sound to Rousay.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to the Broch of Gurness in Evie on the Orkney Mainland!


  1. I certainly did, on my list of things to see.

  2. Would brochs be interpreted as forts. They remind me of the various fortifications we have visited here in Nova Scotia. However, I am just so in awe of the way your brochs were constructed, fitting the stone one on top of the other to make it just right. The stairway is amazing. It just blows my mind to think of the way all this was constructed. I should think there were a lot of extremely sore backs, and injured hands after a days work. Thank you so much for sharing these pictures and all the others that you put on your blog. I thoroughly enjoy them.