Edin's Hall Broch
|Edins Hall Broch|
Edin's Hall Broch, showing intramural chambers
|Alternate name||Edinshall Broch|
Edin's Hall Broch (also Edinshall Broch; Odin's Hall Broch) is a 2nd-century broch near Duns in the Borders of Scotland. It is one of very few brochs found in southern Scotland. It is roughly 27m in diameter.
In the late 18th century this site was called "Wooden's Hall or Castle" (Woden the chief god from Anglo-Saxon mythology). It's later name change apparently recalls the legend of the three-headed giant The Red Ettin known in tales and ballads.
Edin's Hall Broch is one of the most southerly broch survivals, which are more typically associated with Northern Scotland. Brochs were multi floored defensive structures with room for cattle in the lower enclosure and accommodation on the upper floors accessed by passageways in the thick walls.
The broch’s location is a developed site with evidence of occupation covering the Iron Age and Roman occupation. The broch is situated in the northwest corner of an earlier fort (probably the earliest feature of the site) 73 metres by 134 metres consisting of a double ring of defensive ditches and ramparts, overlooking a steep slope above the valley cut by Whiteadder water.
The fort is thought to date from around the time of the earliest Roman invasion of Britain although this area was not directly effected until much later. The date of the broch is uncertain but it has been speculated that it was built between the two main periods of Roman occupation in Scotland: some time in the 2nd Century AD.
Only the lower level of the broch survives, the walls of which are some 5 metres thick, with an entrance passage to the circular courtyard protected by two opposing guard chambers. The broch is some 27 metres in diameter and there is enough intact to give an idea of its grandeur when it was complete. Access to the walls and upper floors would have been via an opening in the wall of the interior leading to a stair and passage, but unlike many other brochs, no trace remains of this putative staircase. Instead there are three double rooms in the thickness of the wall, the entrances to which are located at roughly the cardinal points of the compass - south, west and north. The entrance, flanked by guard rooms, is on the east.
There are traces of a rectangular enclosure around the broch enclosing roundhouse foundations, the central of which would have been a huge structure in its own right. There are copper mines nearby - perhaps a reason for the settlement in the area, and there is another hill fort close to the site on Cockburn Law.
- Armit, I. (2003) Towers in the North: The Brochs of Scotland. Stroud. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-1932-3 pp119-132.
- John R. Baldwin (1985) Lothian and the Borders, page 132. RCAHMS.
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