Carn Liath – Highland, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Carn Liath

This rare surviving broch is one of Scotland's most impressive Bronze Age structures.  


Brochs are tall, round, stone houses that date back to Scotland’s Iron Age.  They were constructed from two layers of drystone walls that actually supported each other, making it possible to build these tall structures. The tallest known broch is around 42 feet (13 meters) in height. Carn Liath is thought to have belonged to a wealthy family of the time, possibly constructed to showcase their status and power.

The distance between the broch and the boundary wall shows that the owners were confident in the stability of the area. This particular section is believed to have been a storage area for animals.  Although there may be more than 500 broch locations around Scotland, many are too ruinous to actually identify. This makes this site even more special, as it was well-preserved enough to be excavated.

It also sheds light on the purpose of these structures. The site was first excavated during the Victorian period by the Duke of Sutherland.

Know Before You Go

There is a free car park across the road, with a crossing at the safest point.

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November 10, 2020

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