Scheduled Monument

Bruan, broch 85m SW of Tulloch LeaSM529

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 31026 39508
331026, 939508


The monument is a broch, a complex stone-built substantial roundhouse, dating to the Iron Age (between 600 BC and AD 400). The broch is visible as a grass covered stony mound with traces of surviving walling. It sits on an artificial platform and there is a surrounding ditch and outer bank. The broch is located in an elevated position near the coast, about 80m above sea level.

The mound is approximately oval in shape, measuring around 3m in height and 14m in diameter with a slight depression in the centre. Short sections of walling and stone slabs are visible protruding through the turf. The surrounding ditch and bank survive best on the west, north and northeast, the ditch measuring around 6m in width and 2m in depth. A modern stone wall overlies the location of the ditch and bank on the east and south and beyond this wall the bank and ditch have been plough levelled and are no longer visible. Stonework is visible on the outer edge of the platform and a large depression with exposed stonework adjoining the outer bank on the north-northeast may represent an additional structure.

The scheduled area is circular on plan measuring 65m in diameter, centred on the broch, 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 scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of a stone wall and post-and-wire fence. The monument was first scheduled in 1934, but an inadequate area was included to protect all of the archaeological remains. The present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

The 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 of a broch mound with related outworks. The size of the upstanding mound indicates this monument is likely to retain its structural characteristics to a marked degree, with potential for significant survival of walls and features such as intramural cells. The broch adds to our understanding of settlement patterns and social structure during the Iron Age in Caithness and this potential is enhanced by the numerous brochs in the vicinity. The loss of the monument would significantly 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 the north of Scotland.



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 8934 (accessed on 04/05/2016).

The Highland Council HER reference is MHG2272 (accessed on 04/05/2016).

Ballin Smith, B (ed.) (1994) Howe, four millennia of Orkney Prehistory. Edinburgh. Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series 9

Feachem, R. (1963) A guide to prehistoric Scotland. 1st. London.

MacKie, E. W. (2007) The Roundhouses, Brochs and Wheelhouses of Atlantic Scotland c. 700 BC - AD 500: architecture and material culture. Part 2 The Mainland and the Western Islands. BAR, vol 444. Oxford.

Mercer, R. J. (1985) Archaeological field survey in northern Scotland: volume III: 1982-3, University of Edinburgh, Department of Archaeology, Occasional Paper No. 11. Edinburgh.

RCAHMS. (1911) The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Third report and inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of Caithness. London.

HER/SMR Reference

  • MHG2272

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: 07/12/2023 20:14