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The Brochs
 
 
Photograph © 1982-2001 Diego Meozzi

Glen Beag Brochs

Located in a glen south of Glenelg, are two of the finest examples of brochs (early fortified circular stone houses) to be found on the Scottish Mainland. A third broch, Dun Grugaig, is a further two miles up the glen, though it is in a much poorer condition than the first two.

With their distinctive "cooling tower" shaped tapered walls, which have an inner and outer shell with floors of galleries formed from large slabs within, these are impressive structures dating back probably to the iron age (around 100BC).

The first one encountered up Glen Beag is Dun Telve and it is the better preserved of the two with a wall height of over 10m. Looking at its inner wall, it is possible to see an upper ledge, which may have supported a conical roof. Four galleries are visible in the cross section of the wall and there are voids in the inner wall, which may have been to allow in light or to ventilate the galleries.

Dun Troddan stands further up the glen on the left side of the road. Much of the top of this broch, is believed to have been used in the construction of Bernera Barracks. Just inside the low entrance, on the left hand side is a small space, which may have been a guardroom. A similar room can be seen at Dun Telve but curiously it is on the opposite side of the entrance. A circle of postholes was discovered during excavation of this broch in 1920 and it is thought that the posts would have supported an upper gallery or even a roof. Again there are narrow ledges on the inner wall, which may have supported wooden floors within the broch.

These are unique and fascinating structures, which must have been at the time, amongst the largest structures in the British Isles.

On the other side of the road from Dun Troddan is a timber house with a grass roof. It was designed and built by local architect Neil Sutherland. The house uses renewable timber and much use of glass to make an energy efficient house, which is in harmony with the environment around it. It’s as advanced today in constuction principles, as the nearby brochs were in their time.

Additional Information:

Link to YouTube video of building a section of a Broch

www.brochbuild.co.uk

Location: Dun Troddan 57.1954; -5.5872
Location: Dun Telve      57.1946; -5.5977

 

 
Dun Telve broch in Glen beag
 
cutaway section showing the inner and outer walls of the Dun Telve broch
 
Dun Telve broch in early springtime
 
low height entrance to the Dun Telve Broch
 
Dun Troddan Broch is situated on a hillside in Glen Beag
 
View of a section through the Broch at Dun Telve
 
Interior of Dun Telve broch Glen Beag
 
The Grass House is very eco friendly and available for self-catering holidays
 
 
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