Edin's Hall Broch - Atlas Obscura

Edin's Hall Broch

Abbey St Bathans, Scotland

A rare example of a Lowland broch. 


A broch is a uniquely Scottish Iron Age form of roundhouse fortification usually found in the northern part of the country. There are over 500 brochs in Scotland, mostly distributed between northern and western Scotland and the islands, with only a small handful in the Scottish Lowlands. Edin’s Hall Broch sits as part of a very unusual complex.

The hill fort that surrounds the broch predates the broch by about 2,000 to 2,500 years. The broch itself is thought to date back to some time between 0-200 A.D. It has double ramparts which enclose an oval area measuring 135 meters by 75 meters. The ramparts are impressive, in places standing up to 4.5 meters in height.

Towards the center of the fort are the remains of a large roundhouse, which would likely have been the most important building in the enclosure prior to the construction of the broch.

The broch stands tucked away in one corner of the hill fort, within an oval enclosure of 58 meters by 54 meters that separates it from the rest of the site. What remains of the thick stone wall hints at its impressive size. A narrow entrance passageway to the west side would have been guarded by two chambers set back in the wall on either side of the doorway.

The walls themselves also held chambers, three of them in almost dumbbell shape. They were sturdy enough to support staircases that rose up between the walls to provide access to the wallhead.

What makes Edin’s Hall so unusual is its massive size. At 28 meters in diameter to the outer wall, it stands much larger than most Highland broch. Some have suggested that it would not have stood as tall as other brochs because of its diameter, but there is evidence that the walls originally stood to twice their current height at around two meters.  There are also suggestions that it possibly was not covered in the same way as other brochs, making it more like a substantial Iron Age roundhouse than a traditional broch.

Know Before You Go

There is a small parking area, more of a layby for three cars, off the A6112.

To get to Edin's Hall Broch you then have to walk along forestry land (be aware of current felling works), follow the dirt track and signs to cross the river and pass through farmland. 

As you cross through farmland be aware that livestock can be in the field, depending on the time of year this means lambing sheep or bulls!  Please ensure their safety as well as your own if visiting with a dog.

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September 1, 2023

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