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Clachtoll Broch project wins award

By Caroline McMorran

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The project to excavate and preserve Clachtoll Broch in north west Sutherland has won a major award.

The initiative has been named Rescue Project of the Year 2021 in the prestigious UK-wide Current Archaeology Magazine annual awards.

Projects are nominated for the awards by Current Archaeology staff and members of the public vote for their favourite – there is no panel of judges.

The winners were announced by TV archaeologist Julian Richards in a YouTube video on March 5. Clachtoll Broch was one of only two Scottish projects to win awards this year.

Dave McBain, chairman of Historic Assynt, the group leading the restoration work on the broch, thanked everyone who voted for it.

He said: “It is the support from our community that has made the difference in winning this award, and we want to thank everyone for voting and supporting us throughout.”

He added: “The support from our partners, and from within Historic Assynt from our vice-chairman Gordon Sleight, who has given so much time to the broch, has helped us deliver an amazing project and hopefully conserve this wonderful Iron Age structure for many years to come.”

The £346,000 excavation project to clear rubble from the broch, which partly collapsed at some point between 150CB and 50AD, began in 2017 following a survey of the area and some initial conservation work.

As hundreds of tonnes of rubble was removed from inside the broch, a unique collection of artefacts was uncovered from the previously undisturbed floor, giving a fascinating insight into iron Age life.

The project was delivered under the Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Parnership Scheme, which aims to enhance the area’s natural, built and cultural heritage.

It has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund alongside further financial support from Historic Environment Scotland, SSE’s sustainable development fund, EB Scotland and the Pilgrim Trust.

Excavation and conservation work was carried out AOC Archaeology, based at Loanhead, near Edinburgh.

More information about the broch, and future plans for further work, is available here

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