Friday, July 11, 2014

Clickimin Broch, Lerwick, Shetland

Since my last blog post I have been on an 'adventure', so to speak, and one of many more to come I hope.  This particular trip into the unknown featured one of my personal 'bucket list' destinations, the Shetland Islands. I must say it lived up to all my expectations, both rugged and wild, and appeared pretty much untouched by today's modern world. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Shetland, or its location, in short it is a subarctic archipelago of Scotland that lies in the North Sea, just to the west of Bergen, Norway. Regarded as a haven for all kinds of wildlife, it also houses some of the most important archaeological sites in the UK, such as the famous prehistoric/Norse settlement of Jarlshof and the nearby Old Scatness. It would only be fair of me to share with you some of the remarkable 'sites' Shetland has to offer. So to start with I will ease you in gently and give a brief introduction and a few images of the rather well situated Broch of Clickimin just outside Shetlands main town of Lerwick.

On Shetlands southern 'Mainland', located on a small islet in the Loch Of Clickimin, some 15 minutes walk from the centre of Lerwick, lies the well-preserved and easily accessible Clickimin Broch.  Now connected to the southern shore of the loch by a walkway, the site was originally  a Bronze Age farmstead, later developing into a Iron-Age ring-fort and finally becoming a broch in the 1st century AD. The broch was originally up to 12-15m high and came with the usual rooms, enclosures and stairs within its thick, dry stone walls. The site was first uncovered in the 1850s yet professionally excavated between 1953 and 1957 by J.R.C Hamilton, who discovered two fragments of Roman glass in the excavation dating from the early 1st to mid-third centuries AD.


The Approach to Clickimin Broch, Lerwick

The broch itself is situated within a walled enclosure and unusually features a large "blockhouse" between the opening in the enclosure and the broch itself. Another unusual feature is a stone slab featuring sculptured footprints, located in the causeway which approached the site. 

Walled Enclosure Surrounding Broch

 Broch Encircled With Entrance Mound

 Entrance of Broch Looking Out Towards The 'BlockHouse'

Interior of the Broch

The site is currently in the care of Historic Scotland and access to the site is FREE. There are a couple of interpretation panels, to assist in the identification of specific features, but let us just say their 'interpretation' beggars belief in certain aspects!! Well worth a visit though and I would give it an 8 out of 10.