Carloway Broch : Dun Carloway
The huge tower of Carloway Broch sits on top of the highest hill in the village giving a panoramic view of the sea and surrounding countryside. A great lookout for seeing advancing enemies although no one really knows for sure why these massive structures were built in the first place at around 100BC. Tradition records the builder to be the giant Darg Mac Nu-Anan in the fourth century.
Carloway Broch is an amazing feat of early engineering with the walls being 30 feet at their highest. The broch was built by the dry stone technique using no mortar yet giving strength and stability that has lasted for nigh on two thousand years.
It is thought that Carloway Broch was built for defence purposes given its height and structure. The broch would have given the local farmers and their families and livestock a refuge in those turbulent times. Chambers at floor level connect by passages and stairs to narrowing galleries above and the only opening on the outer wall is a tiny door no more than 3 feet wide, so no one is going to get in there in a hurry!!
The Morrison Clan is said to have used Carloway Broch as a stronghold in the 17century during the long-standing feud between them and the Macaulays of Uig. That particular siege was ended by the Donald Cam Macaulay climbing the outer wall, no mean feat in itself, and throwing burning heather down into the central area.
As late as 1870 there was a family living within the broch.
Opening Times and Useful Information
There a visitorís centre and a car park with a short but hilly walk up to Carloway Broch. The view on its own is worth the effort.
Carloway Broch can be visited at any time.
Entrance is free.
There is an interpretation centre at the foot of the path up to Carloway Broch, which also offers a range of hand-crafted locally produced items for sale.
Open May to September,
Mondays to Saturdays
10am to 5pm
Disabled toilet facilities are availabe in the interpretation centre building.
Isle of Lewis