Tirefour Broch, Isle of Lismore, Argyll
2 miles north-east of Achnacroish
~ History ~
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.
Tirefour Broch was inhabited during the Roman era as shown by the discovery of an enamel brooch in the foundation layer. It was also inhabited through to the Middle Ages. Among the finds in the broch was a decorative pin from the 8th century and a Norse pin and rivets, dating from the 11th or 12th century. Located near the broch are the remains of a rectangular building in the Norse style.
The history of this broch standing like an ancient sentinel overlooking the ferry crossings to Lismore and all ships that pass by its coast over 25 centutries from Iron Age through to the Middle Ages, well deserves inclusion as a key stronghold in Castle-Finders.
The walls areabout 15 feet thick and encloses a courtyard 40 feet in diameter, making it one of the largest brochs to be found anywhere in Scotland. It would once have stood more than 30 feet high, in a similar cooling-tower shape as Mousa broch.
Access to the Broch is via a small track that ends at a small cottage where a gate across the track makes you feel you have reached its end and there is no sign of the broch. You can either park here with due consideration and walk, or you can continue by car further along the track where you will see the broch come into view on your left, with a much reduced walk, On a clear day the views are said to be spectacular. Unfortinately on our visit we neither had the time due to having to meet the final ferry of the day, nor the weather. A few photo's from the track and later from the air provided us witha glimpse of this fabulous ancient 'castle'.