Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

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Sna Broch, Ness Of Snabrough (12939)

Current Priority
2
East
457808
North
1193333
Site Type
Broch
Period
Iron Age

A massive double bank and ditch flanking the eastern side of the site of a broch which has now completely eroded, except for a sliver of the eastern side of the broch mound. A circular mound at the southern end of the banks and ditches is presumably an element of the broch complex.

Erosion has exposed clean sections through the inner bank, the inner ditch and the central mound. The banks and mound are constructed with up-cast material from the ditches, which buries and preserves the former soil horizon. Rare fragments of very decayed pottery were observed in the up-cast forming the mound. There is evidence of stone facing on the banks.

The section through the inner ditch has exposed a sequence of waterlogged and anaerobic silt and clay deposits at the base of the ditch containing preserved plant material. A mat of vegetation was observed at the base of one part of the ditch. These are sealed by boulder sized demolition debris, probably from the broch structures.

The potential for preservation of high quality paleao-environmental evidence from the buried soil horizons and the waterlogged ditch deposits is high.

Site visit 25 Feb 2018 As described. Photographs taken and sketch sections drawn.

Condition and current recommendations:

Condition
Action

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Other records:

NMRS
1390
SMR
Unknown

ShoreUpdates

1 ShoreUpdate accepted and 0 pending.

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19th May, 2015 by training2
Survey Information
User:
training2
Date:
May 19, 2015
Tidal state:
mid
Site located?:
Yes
Condition Information
Proximity to coast edge:
coast edge
Coastally eroding?:
active sea erosion; has eroded in the past
Is there a coastal defence?:
no
Other threats?:
none
Description:

A massive double bank and ditch flanking the eastern side of the site of a broch which has now completely eroded, except for a sliver of the eastern side of the broch mound. A circular mound at the southern end of the banks and ditches is presumably an element of the broch complex.

Erosion has exposed clean sections through the inner bank, the inner ditch and the central mound. The banks and mound are constructed with up-cast material from the ditches, which buries and preserves the former soil horizon. Rare fragments of very decayed pottery were observed in the up-cast forming the mound. There is evidence of stone facing on the banks.

The section through the inner ditch has exposed a sequence of waterlogged and anaerobic silt and clay deposits at the base of the ditch containing preserved plant material. A mat of vegetation was observed at the base of one part of the ditch. These are sealed by boulder sized demolition debris, probably from the broch structures.

The potential for preservation of high quality paleao-environmental evidence from the buried soil horizons and the waterlogged ditch deposits is high.

Management Information
How visible are the remains? (above ground):
highly visible (substantial remains)
How visible are the remains? (in section):
clearly visible in section
How accessibile is the site?:
accessible on foot (no footpath)
The site is:
is well known
Comments and recommendations
Comments:

Scheduled monument 2084, scheduled in 1934.

Recommendations:

Assign priority 2.

Waterlogged anaerobic preservation within the silts and clays at the base of the ditch, and the buried soils below the banks make the potential for excellent paleo-environmental preservation very high.

It is possible that high quality information about the local environment and landscape for the period prior to the construction of the broch is preserved in the buried soils. High quality information about the local environment and landscape during the period of the occupation of the broch may be preserved in the waterlogged sediments at the base of the ditches. This section should be recorded, dated and sampled to properly assess the potential.