Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on Carloway Broch on the Isle of Lewis which forms part of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.

Summary information as follows:

  • An example of a ¬†distinctive form of settlement, unique to Scotland which probably dates from around the early first millennium, possibly a little earlier.
  • Brochs are found on Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles (including Lewis) and the Highland region of the Scottish mainland.
  • From a structural perspective¬†brochs are dry stone towers extending to a height of about 33 feet and about 82 feet in diameter. Walls are thick at the base tapering towards the top. As illustrated in image below, the walls usually feature a double skin which allows stairs and walls between the walls. This feature also provides insulation benefits.
  • It is probable that inside the broch were wooden floors at different levels.
  • There may have been a central fireplace but the roof would have been enclosed (with thatch).
  • The Carloway broch, like many others, is situated close to the sea thus suggesting marine activities (and fishing) were important. Pastoral farming was also probably undertaken.
  • A broch would likely be the home of a high status and/or powerful personage together with extended family and animals.
  • Carloway Broch is open to the public and is just a short drive from Callanish Stones.

Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Carloway Broch, Isle of Lewis, Scotland

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