Broch Of Gurness Outdoors

Broch Of Gurness
Nap, Burray
KW17 2SU


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A noted icon of Orkney?s rich archaeological heritage, the broch is one of the most outstanding surviving examples of a later prehistoric (Iron-Age) settlement that is unique to northern Scotland.

A uniquely Scottish monument

Brochs are unique to Scotland. There are over 500 of them, the vast majority spread throughout the northern and western Highlands and the islands. Many of these tall circular towers stood alone, but in Orkney they were generally surrounded by sizeable villages. The broch village at Gurness is one of the most impressive. It has also been archaeologically excavated, thus providing a more vivid impression of life in the Scottish Iron Age than other comparable sites.

Gurness Broch was probably the residence of the principal family of the community. It also provided the last defensive resort. Within its massively thick walls the broch originally had a single central hearth, a ring of stone-built cupboards around the wall, and a sunken water feature traditionally interpreted as a well. A spiral stair led up to upper levels in the tower and to the wall-head. When the broch began to collapse, this arrangement was altered. The ?well? was filled in and the interior refitted with new partitions. Most of what the visitor sees today dates from this secondary phase.

Attraction Details

VenueBroch Of Gurness
AddressNap, Burray, Orkney, Orkney, KW17 2SU
Opening timesN/a
Entry costs
Attraction typeOutdoors


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