from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Plural form of broch.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Not only are brochs confined to what is now Scotland, they are concentrated in defined areas, mainly Caithness (the north-east corner of the mainland), the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland), and the Western Isles (see distribution map on the Wikipedia page).

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • This restricted distribution is consistent with though does not prove the possibility that brochs were mainly built and used by one or a few tribes.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • For a start, they are separated by a thousand years or so, as brochs are mostly considered to have been built in the century or so either side of 0 AD, and Norse place names are mostly considered to date from around the ninth to twelfth centuries.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • I should stress that I am not suggesting a direct association between Norse place names and brochs.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • Rick - as far as I know, brochs are unique to northern Scotland and the isles.


  • He had actually found Broch Tuarach itself, or at least he assumed so; there was an enormous pile of fallen stone, surrounding the collapsed remnant of one of the ancient circular brochs, or towers, used in the distant past both for living and for defense.

    Dragonfly in Amber

  • Some said they had been built, like the tall brochs, by the Old People, who had housed their dead there in stone chambers beneath the ground.

    The Wicked Day

  • In these brochs the farmer lived, and his women-kind span and wove and plied their querns or hand-mills, and, in raids, they shut themselves up, and possibly some of their poorer neighbours took refuge in the brochs, deserting their huts and crowding into the broch; but of this practice there is no evidence, and the nearest hut-circles are often far from the remains of any broch.

    Sutherland and Caithness in Saga-Time or, The Jarls and The Freskyns

  • They then, as we know from the localities which bear their place-names, cleared out the Pict from most of his brochs and from the best land in Cat, shown on the map by dark green colour, that is, from all cultivated land below the 500 feet level save the upper parts of the valleys; or they slew or enslaved the Pict who remained.

    Sutherland and Caithness in Saga-Time or, The Jarls and The Freskyns

  • The brochs near the sea-coast were often so placed as to communicate with each other for long distances up the valleys, by signal by day, and beacon fire at night, and so far as they are traceable, the positions of most of them in Sutherland and Caithness are indicated on the map by circles.

    Sutherland and Caithness in Saga-Time or, The Jarls and The Freskyns


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.