The Iron Age broch of Caisteal Grugaig
The Iron Age broch of Caisteal Grugaig stands on a rocky knoll, overlooking the junction of three sea-lochs.
Brochs were built in areas with good agricultural potential, with relatively good soils and sheltered conditions. Most have unrestricted access to the sea. Defence is a secondary consideration when compared to the availability of good land. Brochs were essentially high-status self-sufficient farming units.
The people who lived and farmed here grew oats and barley, and reared stock. Pockets of cultivated land would have often been found on the coastal fringes, cleared of stone and dug by spade. These fields were set within wider areas of unenclosed pasture. There would have been little tree cover.
The nearby brochs of Dun Troddan and Dun Telve in Glenelg are also well worth a visit.
Visiting Caisteal Grugaig broch
The exact location of Caisteal Grugaig broch is grid reference NG 867 250.
Take the A87 to Shiel Bridge. Turn onto the Glenelg Road, and after about a kilometre turn right onto the road that goes past Ratagan Youth Hostel and follows the coast to Totaig. The broch is approximately 1 kilometre along the coastal path leading from Totaig.
All sites managed by Forestry and Land Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.
Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.
Accessing Caisteal Grugaig broch
The broch is accessible via the coastal path from Totaig. It is sited on the steeply sloping hill called Faire-an-Dun, the ‘Watching place of the tower’. As you approach, the impressive nature of the broch tower is increased by the huge triangular lintel over the low entrance passage.
Further chambers, stairways and passages constructed within the thickness of the double skinned wall (the defining feature of all broch towers) would have given gave access to upper floor levels.
As the ground surface is rocky and unlevel, these may have been the main living spaces. The ground floor could have been used for storage or to keep animals in over winter.