NS8384 : Tappoch Broch - eastern side

taken 16 years ago, near to Tappoch, Falkirk, Great Britain

Tappoch Broch - eastern side
Tappoch Broch - eastern side
[For a summary of the features of this broch, see the note at the end of this article.]

This is one of a series of photographs illustrating various features of the surviving walls of the broch; for the other photographs, see NS8384 : Tappoch Broch - southern side / NS8384 : Tappoch Broch - northern side / NS8384 : Tappoch Broch - western side.

For another contributor's photograph of the eastern side of the structure, see NS8384 : Tappoch Broch; see also NS8384 : Tappoch or Torwood Broch April 2007.

In Scotland, the Iron Age, when this structure was built, was the period from about 750 BC to about 100 AD (the definition is flexible, and others would have it run to about 500 AD and the beginning of the Early Historic Period). Brochs are usually found only in the north and west of Scotland, but Tappoch Broch is one of only a few southern examples. A number of interesting features can still be seen in the interior; this contrasts greatly with the outside of the broch, which simply presents the appearance of a large mound: NS8384 : The approach to Tappoch Broch.

The present photo is a view of the eastern side of the broch, taken while standing on the northern part of the wall-head. A gap in the wall, just above and to the right of centre in this image, is one end of the passage that formed the main entrance of the broch. At the time of the first excavation, this passage had a double lintel; at the time of writing, only a single lintel stone remains.

The features of this broch, as it might originally have appeared, are perhaps best exemplified in the exceptionally well-preserved Broch of Mousa: HU4523. Another very fine example is Dn Chrlabhaigh: NB1941.

For further details of this site, see the chapter on Torwood Broch in Susan Hothersall's "Archaeology Around Glasgow". See also the Canmore link in the end-note for full details, and for some aerial photographs.

[A technical note on positioning: from the 1:50000 and 1:25000 maps, it is debatable whether the broch straddles an OS grid-line or not. While re-examining the broch on 26-OCT-2009, I was able to confirm, after taking multiple GPS readings, that the wall-head of the broch (and therefore its interior) lies entirely within the gridsquare NS8384.]
Tappoch Broch

This structure is also sometimes referred to as Torwood Broch. See LinkExternal link (at Canmore) for details. Brochs are Iron Age round towers of dry-stone construction, typically consisting of two concentric walls. There would have been several timber floors and a roof in the circular interior space; stairs in the gap between the inner and outer walls would have allowed access to the upper floors. Tappoch Broch was first excavated in 1864, and again several times in the twentieth century. The main entrance can still be seen on the eastern side, and remains of a stairway on the southern side.

The broch is located within Tor Wood. On page 348 of his book "The Celtic Place-names of Scotland" (1926), W J Watson cites this name as an example of a part-translation: in a charter of 1150, the place is referred to as "nemus de Keltor". In the modern form of the name, the earlier "Kel" (from the Gael. "coille") has been replaced by its translation, "Wood", and the two elements of the name switched around: "Keltor" becomes "Torwood".

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Grid Square
NS8384, 39 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 4 April, 2006   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 28 October, 2008
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Period (from Tags)
Iron Age 
Place (from Tags)
Tor Wood 
Broch   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 8335 8499 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:2.6116N 3:52.4467W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 8334 8499
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Other Tags
Tappoch Broch  Broch  Archaeology 

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