Replica Iron Age broch could draw more tourists to Caithness

A group of Scottish historians are hoping they can draw more tourists to Caithness - by creating a replica Iron Age broch.

Dunbeath Broch
Dunbeath Broch

Members of the Caithness Broch Project (CBP) hope they can gain enough funding to build the broch using the same techniques the original architects employed more than 2,000 years ago.

Unique to Scotland, the purpose of these circular stone structures remain a bit of a mystery.

Some historians believe they were used as defence structures, while others argue they were most likely homes to the ruling Scottish clan chiefs of the day.

Ousdale Broch

Caithness, in the Scottish Highlands, was once home to the largest number of brochs - more than 200 - in Scotland.

“The history of Caithness seems to be lost, it is lacking in identity,” Kenneth McElroy, CBP chairman, explained.

“We hope the broch will help teach children about the past, to let them experience what life was like in Caithness 2,000 years ago.

“We should be proud we can only find brochs in Scotland.”

CBP chairman Kenneth McElroy meeting with John Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland

The project started out as a Facebook page where it quickly picked up momentum.

“It was then we started to think, what can we do to promote Caithness brochs, we thought, lets try and rebuild one,” said Mr McElroy.

The historians will build the broch using the same techniques as the original stone age builders.

They also hope to create a visitor centre and dry stone workshop.

Ousdale Broch

“We want the Broch to be a living history, with reenactments, to smell like the iron age, with people crafting and food,” he added.

CBP chairman Kenneth McElroy meeting with John Thurso, chairman of VisitScotland