Island of Yell
Scheduled Monument – Number HU59NE
An Iron Age Broch north east of Burra Ness and overlooking the sea. There are some indications of outbuildings and that it was also once surrounded by ramparts. The broch itself is circular and of dry-built masonry on a low artificial platform. It appears to have been a defensive broch.
The measurements are as follows:
There is evidence that there was once an intramural ‘guard chamber’ on the south-eastern side, as well as evidence of an upper intramural gallery. There is also a scarcement ledge which would have supported an upper floor approximately 4m above the ground, however there is no evidence of the original entrance.
The whole site covers north to south 95m and east to west 80 m.
1900 On the OS map. Described as being in ruins but measuring up to 14 feet high to the east, and 60 feet in diameter. The walls were approximately 15 feet thick. Included a scarcement (an offset in the wall), a gallery measuring 2-foot-wide and an oval shaped cell in the south east part of the broch. Outbuildings were also recorded in the north, south and south-east as well as a possible earthen bank/rampart which surrounded the whole site.
1946 Earthen rampart confirmed around site.
1969 Site visit by OS
References and Bibliography
Anderson. J. 1878. Notes on the Structure, Distribution and Contents of the Brochs, with Special Reference to the Question of Their Celtic or Norwegian Origin. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Volume 12, pp. 314-355.
Buchanan. G. 1751. History of Scotland. Hamilton, Balfour & Neill.
Cowie. R. 1879. Shetland: Descriptive and Historical; and Topographical Description of that Country. Smith.
Green. M. 2012. The Celtic World. Routledge.
Harding. D. W. 2004. The Iron Age in Northern Britain: Celts and Romans, Natives and Invaders. Routledge.
Hibbert. S. 1822. A Description of the Shetland Islands: Comprising an Account of Their Geology, Scenery, Antiquities, and Superstitions. A. Constable & Company.
Historic Environment of Scotland. Burra Ness, Broch, Yell, Available at http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/SM2063. Accessed 16/06/2020.
Low. G. 1879. A tour through the islands of Orkney and Schetland, with an intr. by J. Anderson. William Peace & Son.
Lynch. M. 1992. Scotland: A New History. Random House.
MacKie, E W. (2002b) The roundhouses, brochs and wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c. 700BC – AD500: architecture and material culture Part 1 – The Orkney and Shetland Isles, BAR British Series 342. Oxford. Page(s): 119 RCAHMS Shelf Number: E.9.1.MAC
Magnusson. M. 2016. Scotland: The Story of a Nation. Harper Collins.
RCAHMS. (1946) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Twelfth report with an inventory of the ancient monuments of Orkney and Shetland, 3v. Edinburgh. Page(s): 161, No.1716 Fig.656 RCAHMS Shelf Number: A.1.1.INV/12
Burra Ness Broch This broch stands about 12 feet high on the seaward side, overlooking Bluemull Sound, although it has tumbled down on the landward side. By Lis Burke, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Burra Ness broch Like many brochs, this one stands in a prominent position on the coast. By Rob Burke, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Burra Ness Broch Stopping for lunch at the broch. By Steve Lucas, CC BY-SA 2.0,