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

Ousdale Burn



Visited: June 22, 2021

Ousdale Burn Broch is now beautifully consolidated, thanks to the efforts of the Caithness Broch Project over the past five years.

The central court, which previously sported a 70 year old rowan tree and was generally overrun by vegetation, has been cleared and covered with geotextile (to prevent the regrowth of vegetation) and gravel.

The broch wall, which had tumbled badly in the region of the entrance passage, has been carefully consolidated by stonemasons and the previously blocked entrance passage cleared of debris. It is now possible to walk into the broch through this entranceway, although you will have to stoop somewhat. The large guard cell leading off the entrance passage has been repaired and its corbelled roof restored. The collapsed wall recess (aumbry) has been restored with permission from Historic Environment Scotland, and at present contains a rather unusual bust.

The Caithness Broch Project website contains details of all the work that has been done at Ousdale Burn Broch, profusely illustrated with 'before-and-after' photographs of the salient features.

Access to the broch is now via a purpose-built path which starts from a new car park that has been created a short distance along the disused loop of the 'old A9' at ND 061 189, exactly one kilometre (0.6 mile) north of the "Welcome to Caithness" sign, on the right hand side as you drive north along the A9. The route to the broch starts at a gate opposite this car park, and entails a walk of almost a kilometre down a well constructed gravel path. Along the way are sited no fewer than five interpretation panels—all different—which detail the broch itself as well as the geology, history and archaeology of the area.

Read more about the project in this John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier report from December 2020.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
25th June 2021ce
Edited 7th November 2021ce

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