One of the main aims of the project is to ensure that Clachtoll Broch is protected and conserved for future generations. The impression that the site is stable is misleading: the processes of erosion and collapse that have reduced the tower to a mound of rubble are ongoing, slowly but constantly removing more and more of the surviving structure. Although incredibly durable structures when intact, broch walls become fragile once collapse begins, and the survival of chambers and galleries at Clachtoll is not guaranteed while stonework continues to be lost from the wall.

The project proposed at Clachtoll will address the main threats to the survival of the site. Following excavation, unstable stonework will be sensitively but permanently supported, and the areas most susceptible to erosion by winter storms will be secured.

Waves crash over the broch during one of Assynt's winter storms (image: S.Sutherland)

Waves crash over the broch during one of Assynt’s winter storms (image: S.Sutherland)

Structural assessment carried out in 2008 and monitoring of the site since have identified the main areas at risk. By securing these areas with custom-designed solutions, sensitive reconstruction and consolidation where necessary we can ensure that the broch will be safe to visit, and will survive to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Work in 2017 will include the removal of loose and unsafe masonry, but with the following conditions:

  • interventions in the historic fabric of the broch should be minimised
  • restoration of historic fabric will be preferred over reconstruction
  • restoration will only be undertaken where the requirements of site safety demand it
  • original but misplaced fabric should be reused wherever possible in the stabilisation of damaged or weakened elements of the monument