Carn Liath Broch, Sutherland, Scotland

The weather on our way back from Orkney was beautiful and we decided to take a long slow journey back home, stopping off at anywhere that took our fancy. When I spotted a sign to a broch on the road between Golspie and Brora we just had to visit it. Carn Liath Broch is situated very close to the main road south and there is a good lay-by on the other side of the road for parking.

Carn Liath Broch

It’s fairly well preserved with some of the walls still 12 feet tall. It’s in a beautiful position fairly close to the beach – but not too close!

Carn Liath Broch

Carn Liath Broch

There’s still quite a lot to see and it’s easy to imagine what it must have been like for the original inhabitants, quite cosy I imagine.

Carn Liath Broch

Carn Liath Broch stairs

Carn Liath Broch chamber 1

We had the place all to ourselves and although there’s a main road nearby the cars weren’t visible.

Carn Liath Broch

cows and sea from Carn Liath Broch

The broch was probably built in the last century BC or first century AD. But it was first excavated in the 1800s. Nobody is quite sure about the purpose of brochs, and the ideas range from resource-hungry status symbols to temporary defensive structures for extended families and their livestock. Around 500 were built in Scotland, including good examples at Broch of Gurness in Orkney, Dun Carloway in the Western Isles and Clickimin Broch near Lerwick in Shetland.

I’m so glad I spotted that roadsign.

4 thoughts on “Carn Liath Broch, Sutherland, Scotland

  1. Built to last. I wonder what secrets might still be contained within the oddly hummocky ground around the broch.
    I’m reminded of Arthur Ransome’s illustration of the broch in “Great Northern?”

    • Valerie,
      Now I’ll have to look for that Arthur Ransome book! There are all sorts of interesting hummocks around in the landscape and I would love to be able to dig in! There are so many though that only a few are ever excavated.

    • Sandra,
      Wow, you and your sister live at opposite ends of the country! It’s probably one of those places that you don’t visit if you live nearby, I know I often neglect places that are close to me.

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