Caisteal Grugaig Broch, Highlands
Nr Ratagan, Glenshiel
B road off A87
Nr IV40 8HP
Brochs are massive, circular, prehistoric fortified dwellings some 2,500 years old. They have been built using a drystane construction method with walls typically 12 feet thick and an inside floor space of around 30 feet in diameter.
These round-houses were built and occupied from around 800BC until the second century AD. This is the earlier part of the Scottish Iron Age when defensive hill forts were being constructed in prominent and strategic positions in the landscape across the British Isles.
Caisteal Grugaig Broch is located across Loch Duich opposite and within site of the famous Eilean Donan Castle.
Despite being by far the most overgrown, secluded and less known of all the brochs we have visited, this has to be by far one of the most memorable discoveries of our explorations. As you stoop to enter the broch, beneath the fabulous triangular lintel stone, you feel you have somehow entered an aztec jungle temple, not an iron age fortress hid away in the Highlands of Scotland. There is plenty to explore inside this fabulous broch before you head back down the path, towards the loch and again look out across Eilean Donan Castle, back to the road end where there is parking available for your exploration.
In its hey-day the stream below the Broch would have provided fresh water, a sheltered shoreline provision for its boats and access to the junction of the three lochs that made this site so important for the ancient lords who would have controlled the waterways which were essential to the control of the surrounding lands and trade within the highlands and islands.
With walls 12 feet thick and 30 feet high, protecting the courtyard and its inhabitants within, its location would have commanded an important waterway until nearby Eilean Donan Castle was built.