Scheduled Monument

An Dun, broch, BerriedaleSM518

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric domestic and defensive: broch
Local Authority
ND 10340 24912
310340, 924912


The monument is a broch, a complex stone-built substantial roundhouse, dating from the Iron Age (between 600BC and AD 400). The broch is visible as a substantial stoney mound, with surviving walling and associated banks and ditches, on a hillock on the west side of Berriedale at around 135m above sea level.

The broch measures 14m in diameter with the internal diameter approximately 7.5m, and it sits on a hillock rising 5m above the surrounding hillside. Traces of an entrance lie on the west of the broch with the remains of a possible intramural cell directly to the east of the entrance. The broch wall stands up to almost 1m in height with sections of inner and outer faces visible. The broch and hillock are encircled by a ditch almost 5m wide and 1.8m deep with evidence for up to three other ditches to the northeast. The monument is located in a prominent position on the hillside moor with extensive views over Berriedale Water. Further prehistoric remains, including hut circles and associated field systems, can be identified in close proximity to the broch.

The scheduled area, centred on the monument, is circular on plan with a diameter of 100m to include the remains described above and an area around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The monument was first scheduled in 1939, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

This monument is of national importance because it has an inherent potential to make a significant addition to our understanding of the past, in particular of Iron Age society in Caithness and the function, use and development of brochs. It is a  well-preserved example with visible architectural features  including the entrance, an intramural cell and wall faces.  The outer-works of the broch are impressive with a substantial ditch and further likely works to the northeast. There are a number of potentially contemporary sites within the vicinity of An Dun. The loss of the monument would diminish our future ability to appreciate and understand the development, use and re-use of brochs, and the nature of Iron Age society, economy and social hierarchy in Caithness and further afield.



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 8068.

Highland Council HER Reference: MHG 1098.

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 20/04/2024 04:36