Sunday 14 November 2010

Digging up the past

Yesterday morning we walked  up the lane beyond Letters to look at our very own broch at Rhiroy.
I didn't know we had a broch, but a talk given in Ullapool on Friday evening by broch expert Euan Mackie on behalf of the Lochbroom Field Club was so interesting we took up his kind offer of a guided tour out at the site
I think our broch at lochbroom 'Dun an Ruigh Ruadh' (a bit of a mouthful for the postman!) is a semi-broch. Built in the iron age, it was used both as a place of refuge as well as a  defence. Semi-circular, a sort of 'd' shape with the straight edge running along the top of a rocky precipice which helped form part of a defence.
I like to think they put in a large picture window here and enjoyed the same views that we do - 
without the additional houses of course.
Having only recently built, and still not finished, our own house, we were impressed to see this one built on a slope in days before excavator diggers. Those stones are huge!  Real man power.
Euan pointed to the entrance, long since covered over with debris and turf and suggested that in the winter solstice when the sun is at it's lowest point in the sky it would shine directly along the passage. We might wrap up warmly on the shortest day and come up here, sun permitting, open the pretend door and let in the sun.
While engrossed with the past, a little bit of the present flew along the loch. What in the world would my iron age family looking out of their picture window make of this!
It doesn't need me to say that my plane photography is about as good as my bird photography!

Tomorrow I shall be flying south to London for a few days to help Jo, our daughter make a wedding cake for her friends wedding. I shall think of Lochbroom broch and the peace and tranquillity here. It will take just a few hours for me to be back in amongst the busyness and bustle of  London. It took iron age man many years of advancing slowly northwards to reach lochbroom.  And yet we're still looking for ever quicker more efficient ways of getting from 'a' to 'b'


Diane said...

Wow! What fantastic scenery! I hope you have a lovely time with your daughter, but I know you will be thinking about home. Safe journey. Di xx

annie hoff said...

Thank you Di. I'm looking forward to seeing Jo and I do like London - but
I shall miss being here very much

Mac n' Janet said...

Lucky you, my husband and I have been all over England, Wales and Ireland looking at standing stones and prehistoric sites. Haven't been very far into Scotland but the Orkneys are on my bucket list.

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