Achaneas Broch (Achaness House)

They knew how to pick their spots, did these old Picts. Just a couple of hundred yards downstream of the Achness waterfalls, on the banks of the River Cassley, I'd live there myself! There is another broch a hundred yards upstream, the Achness broch. Not much remains other than an overgrown grassy mound with a few large trees putting roots down into the foundations. The old broch stone rubble can be seen through tree roots in places, and there are some large stones on the site but I have no idea what they would have been originally. There is some speculation and debate about the site, especially as some think the ring marked stones on the site line up with the moon at a certain time of year. Such arguments are speculative and could never be proved even if true. However, I like to narrow my focus to the Roman Invasion of Britain, from around 100 BC when brochs began to shoot up all over the place until around 100 AD when building new ones seemed to tail off. I don't believe the Picts were preoccupied with building places of worship while the Romans were coming after them with swords. Sure, after the Romans left Britain, I'm sure a lot of brochs were used for other things, such as prestigious dwellings, burial sites, farms, settlements, and perhaps even places of worship.

 Take the single track road from Rosehall up Glen Cassley to the Achness Waterfalls, and both this and the Achess broch are easily assessible beside the road. Might as well take in the beautiful Achness Falls while you are there. Parking might be a consideration and you might have to find parking in Rosehall and walk a bit.

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

Achaneas broch photographs

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Achaneas 02

Achaneas 03

Achaneas 04

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Disclaimer: Some brochs were built with military defensive purpose, and as such can be situated in extremely dangerous areas, such as on the edge of cliffs and ravines. Additionally, these are Iron Age structures, most of them in ruins, and they are extremely hazardous, with crumbling stone walls and hidden chambers. Existing walls, lintels, and passages could collapse at any time. The information here is provided free but it is your responsibility to ensure its accuracy, ensure your own safety, and acquire permissions for access where necessary. Accessing brochs is done entirely at your own risk.