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Broch of Gurness

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The Broch of Gurness – also known as Aikerness Broch – was an Iron Age tower house and surrounding settlement dating back to between 500 and 200BC. It’s located on a square-shaped headland on the northwest coast of Mainland Orkney. Close to the edge of a small shoreline cliff, it overlooks Eynhallow Sound. Brochs are tower houses that were made of dry stone walls and were architecturally sophisticated for their time. Often quite large they resembled simple elongated domes from the outside but had multiple rooms and levels inside. Some even featured an early form of double-wall cavity insulation as a protection against the extreme winter cold of the region. The remains of the Broch of Gurness tower are approximately 3.6 metres in height with dual walls up to 4 metres thick. The central living area was circular and 8 to 9 metres in diameter. It was probably the residence of the leader of the settlement. It was vacated around 100 AD and the surrounding protective ditches have subsequently been filled in. Some pieces of Roman pottery dating back to around 60AD suggest that the inhabitants had contact with the international traders. The grave of a Viking woman dating back to 900AD was located close to the main site. Iron Age artefacts from various excavations are on display in the nearby visitor centre.



Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Jubilee Park Road, Dingwall
Highlands, Scotland, IV15 9QZ
+44 (0)1349 862 236

Contact Details

  • Address: Point of Hellia, Evie, Orkney, Scotland, United Kingdom, KW17 2NH
  • GPS: 59.12386944,-3.081508333
  • Phone: 0044 (0)1856 751 414
  • Part of UK: Scotland
  • Sat Nav Postcode: KW17 2NH
  • Entrance Fees: Yes
  • Disabled Access: Reasonable but best avoided in wet weather
  • Visibility from Road: Reasonable

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