Broch of Clickimin

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Coordinates: 60°08′57″N 1°09′56″W / 60.149289°N 1.165543°W / 60.149289; -1.165543

Broch of Clickimin
Clickimin Broch 20080820 04.jpg
Broch of Clickimin
Broch of Clickimin is located in Shetland
Broch of Clickimin
Shown within Shetland
LocationMainland, Shetland
Coordinates60°08′57″N 1°09′56″W / 60.149289°N 1.165543°W / 60.149289; -1.165543
PeriodsIron Age
Site notes
OwnershipHistoric Scotland
Official nameClickimin Broch,broch and settlement
Designated18 August 1882
Reference no.SM90077

The Broch of Clickimin (also Clickimin Broch) is a large, well-preserved but restored broch in Lerwick in Shetland, Scotland (grid reference HU46434082). Originally built on an island in Clickimin Loch, it was approached by a stone causeway. The broch is situated within a walled enclosure and, unusually for brochs, features a large "forework" or "blockhouse" between the opening in the enclosure and the broch itself. The site is maintained by Historic Scotland.[1] According to its excavator, John R.C. Hamilton, there were several periods of occupation of the site: Late Bronze Age farmstead, Early Iron Age farmstead, Iron Age fort, broch period, and wheelhouse settlement.


Clickimin Broch is situated on the south shore of the Clickimin Loch, three-quarters of a mile south-west of Lerwick on the Lerwick-Sumburgh road.[2] It sits on a small promontory jutting into the loch.[3] It is one of the best preserved broch sites in Shetland.[2]


The broch has an external diameter of around 20 metres and an internal diameter of around 9 metres. It is surrounded by a stone-walled fort consisting of a blockhouse and ringwork.[2] The blockhouse is a free-standing drystone gateway set just within the entrance to the fort.[3] Access to the broch is achieved via the entrance on the western side.[3] The entrance passage may have had a "guard cell", now blocked up, on the right side, just inside the door jamb. The interior of the broch has two cells within the walls at ground-level.[3] Excavations have revealed the postholes for internal timber buildings and in the 19th century there were said to have been radiating stone piers visible.[3] There are two additional entrances to the broch at upper levels.[3] The north entrance leads both into the interior and to a staircase. The other entrance leads to an intramural gallery.[3]


The broch was originally excavated and cleared in 1861-2.[3] Following major vandalism and dilapidation, parts of the site were rebuilt by the Office of Works in 1908-10. It was excavated again between 1953 and 1957 by J. R. C. Hamilton, who proposed a complex chronology for it.[2] The earliest occupation of the site, according to Hamilton, was a small Late Bronze Age farmstead of the 7th or 6th centuries BC which (he said) was superseded by a larger circular Iron Age farmhouse built about the 5th century BC.[2] In the 4th, or early 3rd century BC, Hamilton continued, a stone-walled fort consisting of the block-house and ringwork was constructed, which was in turn superseded by the broch in about the 1st century AD.[2] In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD a large wheelhouse was built within the reduced tower and with minor outhouses, storage pits and cattle stalls dug in the debris inside the older defences.[2]

In recent years Hamilton's schema has been challenged by archaeologists and others: the ring wall, blockhouse and broch are now usually assumed to be contemporary. For a full account see B. Smith, 'How not to reconstruct the Iron Age in Shetland: modern interpretations of Clickimin broch', Northern Studies, 47, 2015.

Archaeological Finds[edit]

Finds include stone lamps, whetstones, bone and whalebone objects, a die, a few bronze objects,[3] and two fragments of Roman glass.[2]

The Broch of Clickimin



  1. ^ "Clickimin Broch". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Historic Environment Scotland. "Lerwick, South Road, Clickimin (1049)". Canmore. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Ritchie, J N G (1998). Brochs of Scotland. Shire Publications. pp. 24–6. ISBN 0747803897.

External links[edit]