Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village on the northwest coast of Mainland Orkney in Scotland overlooking Eynhallow Sound. It is one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric settlement that is unique to northern Scotland.

Dates for the broch are unclear, but it is generally agreed that it was built between 200 and 100 BC - possibly on the site of an earlier settlement. The entire settlement was circled by outer defences comprising of a band of three ramparts and three ditches.

As time progressed, the broch’s defensive role decreased, until around 100 AD, after years of neglect, it was finally abandoned and its upper sections dismantled - probably to provide the building material for later houses in the area. Over the ensuing years, its walls continued to be reduced, as stone provided a valuable source of building material.

photo by The K Team