Ousdale Burn Broch (Allt A' Bhurg)

This was a broch full of surprises. While approaching for my first visit it looked as if it was just a pile of rubble with a very low surviving outside wall. It didn't look like much and I didn't expect to see more than a pile of rubble. However, when I walked onto the walls I found the interior to be one of the best preserved brochs I've visited to date. The entrance was complete, as was the guard chamber. There was another chamber set into the wall to the right of the entrance, and the passage to the stairs was still there. It appears there is a defensive perimeter around the broch site, but I couldn't say for sure if that was its purpose.

The broch is sited on high ground above the Ousdale burn which has carved itself an almost gorge like course through the hill, making this the ideal spot for a defensive fort. When I first visited the broch I had to be extremely wary because walls were ready to collapse in places and were exceedingly dangerous. My second visit was after conservation work had been carried out, and they have done a remarkable job. As part of the conservation work they also built a car park up by the A9 and a good path all the way down to the broch. If it is foggy or misty take care as there are steep drops down into the Allt A' Bhurg and the Ousdale Burn.

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

Ousdale Burn broch photographs

Ousdale Burn 01

Ousdale Burn 02

Ousdale Burn 03

Ousdale Burn 04

Ousdale Burn 05

Ousdale Burn 06

Ousdale Burn 07

Ousdale Burn 07b (stairs before conservation work)

Ousdale Burn 08 

Ousdale Burn 09

Ousdale Burn 10

Ousdale Burn 11

Ousdale Burn 12

Ousdale Burn 13

Ousdale Burn 14

Ousdale Burn 15

Ousdale Burn 16

Ousdale Burn 17

Ousdale Burn 18

Ousdale Burn 19

Ousdale Burn 20

Ousdale Burn 20b (interior before conservation work)

Ousdale Burn 21

Ousdale Burn 22

Ousdale Burn 23

Ousdale Burn 24

Ousdale Burn 25

Ousdale Burn 26

Ousdale Burn 27

Ousdale Burn 28

Ousdale Burn 29

Ousdale Burn 30

Ousdale Burn 31

Ousdale Burn 31b (stairs before conservation work)

Ousdale Burn 32

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.