Achavar Broch

This one was built on a long ridge of bedrock poking out of the surrounding ground. No part of the structure was visible on my first visit to the site, but there was a hollow in the broch mound itself. On a second visit, I did see some broch stone coming through the ground.

Take the single track road from the A9 and find somewhere to park that isn't blocking any passing places. Go through the second gate down the road from the house because if you take the first gate you will have to clamber over a barbed wire fence. This is working farmland and the ground is boggy around gates, so boots would be recommended.

During my second visit, I looked around the countryside and scratched my head because I could see no logical reason for the broch to be there. It had no outer defences so it wasn't a military defensive structure like Baile Mhargaite or Kilphedir, and it was rather small so wouldn't have housed many people. As there are so many brochs around the area for people to take refuge in, this one didn't make much sense to me. I asked a friend who was with me if he could see any reason for the broch being there. He looked around, pointed out that we were on an elevated rock on a flat plain and could see for miles in every direction, so it was likely a strategic broch placed for line of sight communications. That stunned me as I then realised that brochs had differing reasons for their construction and were not all built the same. Military and architectural genius working together again.

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

Achavar broch photographs

Achavar 01

Achavar 02

Achavar 03

Achavar 04

Achavar 05

Achavar 06

Achavar 07

Achavar 08

Achavar 09

Achavar 10

Achavar 11

Achavar 12

Achavar 13

Achavar 14

Achavar 15

Achavar 16

Achavar 17

Achavar 18

Achavar 19

Achavar 20

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.