Up in the Borders, son-in-law Graeme Wallace and myself took a wee wander into the hills above Duns, searching for Edin’s Hall Broch, something very rare this far south.
Brochs are a type of stone roundhouse only found in Scotland. There are well over 500 of them, found mostly in northern and western Scotland and the islands. Only a handful exist in Lowland Scotland, hence our visit.
The exact date of the broch at Edin’s Hall is not known, but estimates suggest that it was built in the period 0 – 200 AD.
Surrounding the broch is an earlier fort dated circa 2,500 years ago. The fort measures approximately 130 by 80 metres, with 4.5 metre high double ramparts. The broch stands in an enclosure on one corner of the fort, clearly separated from the earlier constructions.
Towards the centre of the fort are the remains of another large round house, which was probably the most important building before the broch was constructed.
Although Edin’s Hall shares many features with the traditional broch architecture seen all over the north west of Scotland and the Orkney and Shetland Islands the massive size of the construction suggest that it may have been a hybrid broch/roundhouse.
Richard Strathie’s photo shows the massive construction of the broch, with guard chambers on either side of the entrance and storehouses built into the 5 metre wide walls.
Graeme Wallace took this photo, with me inside for scale. Newly built, the walls may have been 5 or 6 metres high, with a massive timber roof supported on a central pole.
Calum McRobert’s pic emphasises the extraordinary width of the rubble filled lower walls.
A common feature of broch construction is an integral spiral staircase climbing up to the wallhead.
Store rooms built into the walls.
Bridge over the Whiteadder river – yes, there is a Blackadder river too.
Pool below the footbridge.