The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Broch of Borwick



Going down the road to Yesnaby almost instantly you realise that this is one of the routes in Orkney that has missed out on a closer look by the archaeological community, using CANMAP there seems little here but on the ground it appears jam-packed. Abundant rocky outcrops do confuse matters I suppose. If I were looking for the broch again I would try for the more direct approach from Borwick Farm. Going along the coast as I did is only for the very able bodied and definitely not when it has been chucking it down. First obstacle a barbwire fence, which fortunately at one section has a couple of lines missing. Here tou can see two lines of 'standing stone fences' intersect [see Breck spine for a fence example]. One of the fences goes across till it hugs all along the very cliff edge. Oh these standing stones are real beauties standing in sturdy big slab-lined rectangular sockets magnificently constructed. Eventually you see the broch ahead on a small headland. For most people the best thing to do would be to use a good telephoto shot from this spot (which I missed out on) and then turn back. The photo would look as if taken from a rock-steady boat to my mind. But now you descend a steep and slippery hillside and cross the stream just above the ruin in the narrow valley. Now an uphill struggle and a barbwire fence. The stile over this is of inferior modern construction - two strips of wood parallel to the fence at no distance and resting on narrow pillars. There is no gap in the fence here and my shortish legs only just scraped over. At the top of the hill entrance to the site is over a less rickety stile thank goodness. Before this standing stone fence at left there is a rectangular depression with several stones that is definitely not wall. To the front right of the broch tower there is a large area covered with stones of various sizes and conditions. Once inside the fence you can see that there is one large thin slab that appears to show a structure. The entrance to the broch tower is round to the left. In front of this are two now uncapped guard cells in plain view, the left being especially well preserved. The doorway is only preserved up to the lintel but apart from a bit of a gap there the broch continues up for several courses more. Some large stones lie on the entrance floor and make it so that you have to bend over to scramble through. Inside there are still some suggestions of structure. All the back is gone of course, and there the broch wall remains are only a couple of feet across and back onto sheer cliff. In order to obtain an overview I had to stand on this hunched back with my 28mm attached, when I just managed the shot. On going back I could see two structural holes either side of the entrance - for a bar ?? wideford Posted by wideford
24th April 2004ce

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