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Ach An Fhionnfuraidh Broch (Suisgill Lodge)


George
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This is another of the Strath of Kildonan brochs, and if you didn't know it was there you would probably walk over it without noticing the site. It is completely robbed and overgrown, though the walls can still be made out as circular mounds covered in heather and grass. Even with a map and GPS I had difficulty locating the site on a second visit.

There is some conjecture over whether or not Ach An Fhionnfhuraidh is actually a broch. Some have suggested it is a dun or even a homestead consisting of two hut circles. Without an archaeological excavation any further discussion is pointless, however, I would like to add something for consideration - line of sight! Is Ach An Fhionnfhuraidh an integral link in line of sight communications up and down the Strath of Kildonan? If it isn't, I can see no reason for a broch to be there. If for instance there is direct line of sight between Learable broch and Carn Nam Buth, then why would the PIcts build a broch there? If there is no direct line of sight between Learable and Carn Nam Buth, bearing in mind that the Highlands was a huge natural forest at the time, then Ach An Fhionnfhuraidh simply cannot be relegated to homestead status owing to its important military strategic position.

Difficult access here if you park beside the bridge on the single track road through the Strath of Kildonan and try to clamber up the steep, rocky banks of the burn. The ground is rough and boggy, with closely growing forestry conifers surrounded by high deer fences. It would be much better to park beside the Carn Nam Buth broch and follow the pylons, or walk up the track at Suisgill Lodge and cut across to the site from the top of the hill. Take your map and GPS if you have it as the broch is invisible until you're on top of it.

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Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

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Disclaimer: Some brochs were built with military defensive purpose, and as such can be situated in extremely dangerous areas, such as on the edge of cliffs and ravines. Additionally, these are Iron Age structures, most of them in ruins, and they are extremely hazardous, with crumbling stone walls and hidden chambers. Existing walls, lintels, and passages could collapse at any time. The information here is provided free but it is your responsibility to ensure its accuracy, ensure your own safety, and acquire permissions for access where necessary. Accessing brochs is done entirely at your own risk.

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