Photos and the City

Slow travel & photography

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

It was a sunny day, perfect for a little walk to the Broch of Deerness, or better said, another day, another broch.

It is a lovely walk along the coastline of the Deerness Peninsula right in the East of the Eastern side of Mainland Orkney.

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

Starting at “The Gloup” – a collapsed sea cave – the walk

winds its way along the craggy coastline, offering beautiful views out over the North Sea, the island of Copinsay. (Orkney.com)

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

First view of the Broch – can you spot it? Today it lies on the top of a large rock stack standing detached from the nearby cliffs, with only low remnants of the narrow neck of land that once connected it to the cliffs.

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

There is a (very) narrow path leading down the cliffs and then up the rock to the broch, but it was closed due to landslides.

So what exactly is the Brough of Deerness? That’s a very good question that no one has yet fully answered. Some feel it started life as an iron age clifftop fortification. Some feel the focus was as a pre-Norse Christian settlement and point as evidence to a number of circular features found in the 1930s: (Undiscovered Scotland)

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

Excavations in the 1970s unearthed the structure we can see today, the ruins of a chapel dating back to the pre-Norse period.

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

It was re-established on the same site in the Viking era, in the years around 1100, and continued in use until the 1500s and still later as a place of pilgrimage. (Undiscovered Scotland)

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

The Brough of Deerness is a well-preserved Viking Age settlement set atop a c. 30 m high sea stack in Orkney’s east Mainland, Scotland. The summit of the stack is crowned by the ruins of a c. tenth- to twelfth-century chapel and the earthworks of approximately 30 associated buildings. (Department of Archeology)

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

I continued my walk along the coastline for a bit before cutting back towards the start of the walk.

A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.A walk along the Deerness peninsula towards the Broch of Deerness in Orkney.

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