Scottish master craftsman looks around at other wallers work to generate world wide interest in the ancient art of gathering rocks into field boundaries and beautiful features in stone.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Brochs of Scotland







Around the end of the iron age approximately 750 dry stone Brochs were constructed in Scotlland mainly on the islands and round the coasts where suitable flat rock was available. These buildings have been mostly robbed of stone but the best remaining example is Mousa Broch in Shetland which still stands just over 13 metres high. It is now thought that they were grand homes for chiefs and other important members of the Celtic society. There is generally a single entrance with a guard chamber. This led to spiralling stairs built between the two supporting walls. It is thought that the central area had wooden ceilings perhaps at more than one level though the top appears to have been left open. The photos here are of the full height Mousa Broch and one of the Glen Elg Brochs which show the gaps on the stairway which allowed light into the steps. The Brochs are a uniquely Scottish phenomenon ; that is how they are described by master craftsman Irwin Campbell who is currently organising the construction of one for the first time in two thousand years on the outskirts of the village of Strathyre.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the broch on Mousa is in my opion a wonderful example of what can be done using drystone construction. The drystone wall I am constructing at the moment on the perimeter of a modern building site is attracting lots of attention. Modern, 'advanced' techniques reley heavily on expensive materials and industrialised comodities. People are constantly surprised that drystone walls are actually strong. I wonder if the walls that those flash modern building companies will last as long as the Scottish Brochs?

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