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<b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamiltonImage © Les Hamilton
Nearest Town:Thurso (15km ENE)
OS Ref (GB):   NC9820362438 / Sheet: 11
Latitude:58° 32' 18.18" N
Longitude:   3° 44' 55.69" W

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<b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton <b>Achvarasdal</b>Posted by LesHamilton


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Revisited: June 18, 2019

I revisited Achvarasdal broch once more and was impressed by the improvements made since a year previously.

The entrance passage and the central court of the structure have been cleared of weeds, particularly plants of giant hogweed, and are now tastefully laid out with pink gravel chippings to create a much more pleasant visitor experience.

Members of tbe Caithness Broch Project and Caithness Countryside Volunteers are to be congratulated on their efforts, which include installing layers of geo-textile to inhibit future regrowth.

But the battle is not completely over as a number of mature hogweed plants were spotted within a few metres of the broch wall on the northwest. Hopefully work will continue to achieve total eradication of this dangerous, invasive species.

Broch Clean-up
You can read about the clean-up process in these articles from The John O'Groat Journal and Caithness Courier on April 4, 2019 and April 24, 2019
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
5th July 2019ce
Edited 6th July 2019ce

Visited: June 29, 2018

Just a few hundred metres from the village of Reay on Scotland's far north lies one of the largest brochs in Scotland: Achvarasdal. After heading east on the A836 out of Reay, the road dog-legs sharply northward. Almost immediately, turn right following the road for about 600 metres and park outside the woodland surrounding Achvarasdal Care Home. It's just a short walk along woodland paths, following 'broch' signs, to the broch.

Achvarasdal Broch is, in area, one of the largest in Scotland with a court diameter of 9.8 metres. The interior of the broch was excavated during the latter part of the 19th century, but the external wall face was not cleared, and remains concealed beneath a sizable vegetated mound. The walling, which rises to 1.6 metres above the central court, is composed in the main of quite small slabs of light-coloured sandstone, giving an appearance rather like brickwork. Achvaradsal has a most impressive, quite narrow entrance passage, a little short of 4 metres long on its east-south-east.

At the time of my visit, the broch was besieged by a major infestation of Giant Hogweed. Even with a walking pole fully extended above me, I could not quite reach the hogweed's flowering heads, which must therefore have been at least 4 metres tall. Achvarasdal is one of the brochs promoted by the Caithness Boch Project, whom I contacted about the problem. They replied that they were aware of the situation and would be taking measures to tackle it. I'm pleased to report that, just three weeks later, I was sent a photograph showing that clearance work had begun. Hogweed, however, is not easy to erradicate, particularly if it has been seeding the area for years, so it may take several seasons to render the site hogweed-free.

You can read much more about Achvarasdal Broch on the Canmore website, including details of finds from the site.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
11th August 2018ce
Edited 5th July 2019ce