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Caithness Broch Project identifies site for ground-breaking Iron Age reconstruction

By Gregor White

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An artist's impression of how the finished broch could look.
An artist's impression of how the finished broch could look.

Ambitious plans to create an iconic new visitor attraction in Caithness are a step closer to becoming a reality.

Residents in the Latheron, Lybster and Clyth community council area are to be asked for their views on a proposal to build a replica Iron Age Broch in their district.

Brochs are stone built, circular towers dating back over two thousand years. They are unique to Scotland and the greatest number of broch sites are in Caithness.

The idea to build the first new stone tower since the Iron Age as a visitor attraction and archaeological and educational research centre is the vision of local charity, The Caithness Broch Project.

The charity’s chairman, Robin Herrick, said: “After a lengthy search for the perfect site, we are pleased to announce that we have identified an area north of Latheron known as Flygla as our preferred site for the ‘Big Broch Build’. We have found the owner and local representatives to be very supportive of our outline plans, and we look forward to consulting with the local residents and stakeholders in the coming weeks to ensure their insights and concerns are integral to the project’s next steps.”

The charity believes that recreating history through its ”Big Broch Build” will show people what these unique Scottish structures would have looked like and experience how they were built,. The Broch Project wants to using Iron Age construction techniques as much as possible. The charity believes the replica broch will also encourage more visitors to come to the area to visit the site, spend more time and money in the village and help create more jobs in the communiity.

Chairman of Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Council, Alan Tanner, has welcomed the proposal.

He said: “This ambitious project is spurred on by great enthusiasm and determination on behalf of the Broch Project committee and deserves all our support as a community.”

The charity is embarking on a community consultation exercise to hear the views of local residents, businesses and landowners.

Leaflets, including a questionnaire, will be sent to households in the community at the end of November and two public information events will be held in Latheron in early December. People are asked to complete the survey giving their views on the plan by mid-January next year. It is also available online at https://forms.gle/qUNK2uUVXfQjjkij6.

The consultation exercise has been made possible thanks to funding from Scottish Power Renewables’ Halsary Windfarm, distributed by Latheron, Lybster & Clyth Halsary Fund.

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