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

Calla Broch



Grey Weather at Calla

This site has long intrigued me. A broch... here in the dark badlands of South Lanarkshire? Well... why not? After all... on my short twenty minute journey to the site of Calla Broch I drove past a henge, a Norman Motte, the oldest roofed building in Scotland, the late Upper Paleolithic site at Howburn, an important roman crossroads, a roman fortlet and a field with two emus in it.

The broch site is just that... just a site, A stump.. but it is a beautifully elevated platform with stunning views to Tinto, Quothquan Law and within sight of the massive roman complex at Castledykes by Ravenstruther. It is thought that the legions had a hand in bringing this mighty structure crashing down at the end of the first century.

The broch was known locally as "the quarry" for centuries and has provided the drystane dykes for many of the fields here. The site itself has intact walling most of the way round, but it is just well concealed under turf, deep undergrowth and fallen trees.

A quiet site with little to catch your eye. There are some large blocks of worked and hewn masonry scattered at the edge of the platform and here and there where you can find the curtain wall's edge, it is robust and stands quite a few courses in height.

The site has never really been excavated. Chatting with a local archaeologist about it a few years back, he described the broch as having been toppled into itself. The resultant heap was then quarried over centuries and then the area around the broch heap was planted with conifers and Beech. Many of these old trees have blown down around the edges of the broch platform and remain uncleared. It would take an army to clear this place in order to let any excavation take place. A very limited dig some years ago uncovered a couple of pieces of cannel coal.
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
12th November 2012ce

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