Ousdale Burn Broch

This was a broch full of surprises. While approaching, it looked as if it was just a pile of ruins 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 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. There seems to be 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. If you enter the broch, be extremely wary because walls are ready to collapse in places and are exceedingly dangerous.

As you can see on the map, an old part of the A9 serves as a parking area off the main road, from which it is easy to walk down to the broch, which is visible from the car. There is a new barbed wire fence running alongside the broch, but you can skirt this and gain access to the broch without having to climb the fence. If it is foggy or misty, take care, as there are steep hillsides down into the Ousdale burn.

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

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.