A record of our ancient Brochs, Hill-forts and Sculptured Stones of Scotland
Dun Troddan Broch
N.M.R. number:- NG81NW6 Highland HER number:- MHG5354 OS Grid Ref:- NG83381723 SCHEDULED
Dun Troddan Broch stands above the flood plain of Glean Beag. The well-built site is in a good state of preservation with the walls surviving to a height of over 7m. The full circuit of walling and entrance are well-visited. The site is in the care of Historic Scotland. Fresh water was plentiful from the nearby stream.
Some of the stone from this broch and Dun Telve just down the glen are said to have been robbed to create the redcoat barracks at Bernera. Access is from the glen road after careful parking. The site is sign-posted through a gateway over pasture, no animals at the time of the site visit.
Major Structural Notes:-
The outside diameter is over 16m with a wall thickness of 3.7 at the entrance and 3.3m opposite the entrance and a measured inside diameter of 8.6m. The entrance passage in the south-west has an elongated ‘guard cell’ entered through the west-most passage wall and there is a door check. Another intra-mural cell is accessed from an opening just to the north of the entrance with a stair rising clockwise upwards.
The walls have the vertical gaps similar to those of Dun Telve and the horizontal galleries which can be seen in the end sections. The wall batter is very obvious in these two brochs.
There appear to be no associated structures but ‘no evidence is not evidence for nothing’.
The broch sits on the slopes just above the arable levels of the river and is in sight of Dun Telve some few hundred metres away. Otherwise the two sites are isolated from the main broch areas, the nearest being at Dun Grugaig in Loch Alsh and some twenty-five on northern Skye.
There are three vertical galleries visible in the 7m height of the structure. There are several explanations suggested such as access to upper levels, weight reduction and lower material use in building. The height of other surviving brochs often prevents positive identification of the use of this building technique. A circle of postholes were discovered inside the broch during excavation. These have been variously interpreted as supports for inner wooden structures or for an original wooden hut on the site.
Sources: Site visits, Highland HER and RCAHMS Canmore database and PSAS55 p86-94(Excavation report from 1920 by A.O.Curle)