carloway broch


Dùn Chàrlabhaigh, Leòdhas, Outer Hebrides.

This is one of the best preserved Iron Age Brochs in Scotland. It’s entered by a single low heavily-defended doorway with a guard chamber to one side. There are two further chambers at ground level within the massive thickness of the walls, and a stone-built staircase which rises between the inner and outer walls, giving access to the upper levels.

Although the broch appears to have been long roofless and uninhabited, a well-known local story demonstrates that it remained an important landmark and place of regime. The Morrisons had stolen cattle from the MacAulays in a raid and took refuge in the broch until the danger of reprisal had passed. However they met a fearful end when Donald Cam MacAulay managed to climb the sheer outer face of the drystone inserting his dirks between the stones and throwing burning heather down on them.