Dail Langwell

The broch is well worth a visit and has many interesting features. If you ignore the recent sheep pens built with stone robbed from the broch, this is still one of the best preserved brochs in the area. It has exterior and interior walls, lintels, and chambers. There is no line of sight linking down to the two brochs at Rosehall, but the links will be there somewhere, either duns or chambered cairns, or perhaps even lost broch sites. One very interesting aspect of this broch is that it is double skinned, and you can see into the gap between the interior and exterior walls. However, the gap is not wide enough for people! Until now I've always assumed the gaps were made wide enough to build stairs to the galleries. After visiting this broch, I now see that access was not the main purpose for the cavity between the walls. I assume now it was for insulation to keep the interior warm in winter, and that stairs and access was a secondary consideration only if the cavity was sufficiently wide to permit it.

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

This is a remote broch, and there is no easy access. I've been putting this one off for years as I knew it would be a hard day out and I wasn't prepared for it. Last week I felt ready, the weather was good, and I set off early. I parked at Badintagairt off the single track road and walked to the bridge. It wasn't there. I guess Ordance Survey don't update their maps as much as they should. The river was in heavy spate so there was no way to cross. I then tried the bridge up at Glenmuick, and that one is still there, though in bad repair and may not be there much longer as it is rotting and becoming unsafe. First problem was finding somewhere to park. There isn't anywhere, and as you can't park in passing places I had to find a rough verge off the road, and then walk back to the track. From the bridge there is no path to the broch site, it is difficult going through forested land with a tributary of the River Cassley to cross. I also needed my maps and it took me 5 hours of difficult walking to get to the broch and back to the car. There are deer fences across your route and you will have to look for the gates so you can climb them. This is not a recommended walk for anyone who is not fit, does not have adequate hill clothing and boots, and who has no experience of unpredictable Highland weather and remote countryside. One alternative could be to go in summer when the River Cassley is in drought and wade across the river, but you would still need to know what you are doing because if it rains these rivers can rise quickly and cut you off. Remember, I put this broch to one side for years until I knew I was fit enough before attempting it. Do your homework and plan well.

Dail Langwell broch photographs

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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.