Saints and Stones: Dunbeath Broch

In the south of Caithness, Dunbeath Broch is a great broch, hidden within the Dunbeath river valley. It is one of the best surviving examples of a broch in the area, much more of a broch in the traditional sense.

Surrounded by trees and a wall, Dunbeath Broch is almost 10 feet (3 meters) high on the west side. The interior chamber is some 27 feet (8.2 meters) in diameter. The entrance has a guard cell and there is a corbelled cell in the opposite wall. The Broch also has a scarcement ledge, evidence of another floor.

The broch was first investigated in 1866, one of the earliest excavations of a broch in Caithness, indeed Scotland. Between 2016 and 2018, the Dunbeath and Berriedale Community Council and the local community undertook a new program of archaeological investigations and structural consolidations. The aim was to improve on-site interpretation and to encourage people to visit and enjoy the broch. This work the by AOC Archaeology Group has made Dunbeath broch one of the more accessible and best-preserved monuments in Caithness.

About the Dunbeath Broch

Megalithic Portal: Dunbeath Broch
The Modern Antiquarian: Dunbeath Broch
Canmore:Dunbeath Broch
Berridale-Dunbeath: Dunbeath Broch
Dunbeath Heritage Museum: Dunbeath Broch

Journey to the Dunbeath Broch

There is a purpose-built car park at the Mill on the inland edge of Dunbeath. Turn off the A9 towards Dunbeath village and head downhill until you reach the carpark. Dunbeath Broch is accessed via a footpath that has steps in some places. The distance between the car park and the broch is less than 1/2 mile (750 meters). Follow the path on foot upstream along the river. Pass through the kissing-gate and cross the suspension footbridge over the Burn of Houstry, atributary of the Dunbeath Water. On the far side of the bridge, head through the gate straight ahead. This gives access to a short path that climbs up to what at first looks like a walled enclosure filled with trees. Inside the enclosure is Dunbeath Broch.

Streetmap UK NGR ND1553630447.

Visitors Information

Visitors information for the Dunbeath Broch may be found at the Dunbeath Heritage Museum website. General tourist information for the area may be found on the Visit Scotland: Caithness and North Coast Sutherland Area website.

Additional Photos of the Dunbeath Broch

Beginning of Path to Dunbeath Broch
Bridge Over River on Path to Dunbeath Broch
Path to Dunbeath Broch
Stairs on Path to Dunbeath Broch
Descriptive Sign at Dunbeath Broch
Older signage at Dunbeath Broch
Approaching Dunbeath Broch
Entrance to Dunbeath Broch
Close-Up of Entrance to Dunbeath Broch
Part of Wall of Dunbeath Broch
Entrance Passage in Dunbeath Broch
Close-Up of Entrance Passage in Dunbeath Broch
Side of Dunbeath Broch
Back of Dunbeath Broch
Overlooking the River Returning on the Path from Dunbeath Broch

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