Discover Sutherland - Your Local Guide
  Carn Liath Broch, near Golspie


Carn Liath Broch (sometimes also referred to as Strathsteven Broch) lies between Golspie and Brora on the main A9 road, a mile or so north of Dunrobin Castle. While it may not be the tallest broch remains in Sutherland, it is certainly one of the best preserved.

A broch is a small Iron Age dry stone tower. They were built in the last few centuries BC and the first centuty AD.

Their exact purpose is not clear. Many think that they were defensive structures, their tall stone walls and ramparts providing protection to the native farmers and their livestock should they come under attack by rivals from neighbouring communities. However, some archaeologists believe that they were simply "status symbols", a visible demonstration that a particular settlement or group of people were wealthy and successful.

Carn Liath is well preserved. Outside its walls are the remains of a number of smaller buildings. You can enter the broch through the original passage way. In this passage are the remains of the stone supports for the door frames and on the right is a small room or cell where perhaps a guard may have been stationed.

Once inside the structure you are able to see how the broch was constructed with a double wall containing a stair to the top, part of which remains accessible today. However the broch did not just consist of the stone tower. Archaeologists have found post holes in the floor which would indicate that the broch was either partially or completely roofed by some sort of wooden structure.

Carn Liath lies on the seaward side of the A9 road down a short track. There is car parking on the other side of the main road. This road can be busy so care should be taken when crossing to reach the broch.


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