Loch Of Brindister

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Site Type DUN
Canmore ID 1002
Site Number HU43NW 9
NGR HU 4326 3701
Former District SHETLAND
Former County SHETLAND
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

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Archaeological Notes

HU43NW 9 4326 3701.

(HU 4352 3703) Brough (OE)
OS 6" map Shetland, 2nd ed (1903)

A confused mass of ruins occupies the whole of an island. Partial excavation by Goudie in 1888,(G Goudie 1889), revealed a structure 50ft N to S by 51ft E to W overall, with a wall about 8ft thick and 5ft high,and probably not more than 12ft high at any time. Despite the relative thinness of the wall and the apparent absence of any mural chambers, etc., both the RCAHM (who did not visit the site) and Goudie regarded it as a broch. On the north side is an entrance 3' 9" to 4' wide, but there is no sign of a causeway connecting the island with the shore.
RCAHMS 1946.

Not a broch, but the massive dry-stone wall of a dun occupying the whole of an islet in the Loch of Brindister. The crudely-built wall is best seen at the NNE entrance, excavated by Goudie, where it is at its widest, 2.5m thick and 0.9m high. It narrows rapidly away from the entrance and where the inner wall face can be distinguished on the SW side, it is only 1.5m thick. Elsewhere only the outer wall face is occasionally visible through the tumble. There are no cells or passages within the walls, and no internal structures are apparent. Soundings around the islet failed to reveal a causeway.
Surveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (NKB) 21 June 1968.


Project Euan W Mackie Broch Corpus 1

The most recent description from personal observation of this probable broch, situated on an islet in the loch of that name near Lerwick, is that of Goudie in 1888, who undertook some excavation there [3]. There is no sign now of a causeway to the land. Goudie exposed the outer wall face, the entrance passage and part of the inner face and according to him the walls were found to be standing only 5 ft. high; the overall diameter was 50 ft. from north - south and 51 ft. from east - west. The average wall thickness was 8 ft. and the width of the entrance from 3 ft. 9 ins. to 4 ft.. If these measurements are correct the walls are exceptionally thin for a broch -- the wall proportion being about 31.7% -- but, as Goudie notes, it may be that the special situation of the structure made high walls unnecessary. No evidence for intra-mural features was observed.
Sources: 1. OS card HU43NW 9: 2. RCAHMS 1946, vol. 3, no. 1248, 72: 3. Goudie 1889, 246-9.
E W MacKie 2002

Further details

Books and References

Goudie, G (1889) 'Notice of some recent brough excavations in Shetland', Proc Soc Antiq Scot, vol.23
Page(s): 246-9

MacKie, E W (2002b) The roundhouses, brochs and wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c. 700BC - AD500: architecture and material culture Part 1 - The Orkney and Shetland Isles BAR British Series 342 Oxford
Page(s): 88 Held at RCAHMS E.9.1.MAC

RCAHMS (1946) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v Edinburgh
Page(s): 72,No.1248 Held at RCAHMS A.1.1.INV/12

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Charity SC026749