Torwood Broch

the reassessment of a Complex Atlantic Roundhouse near Falkirk

Murray Cook (Author)

Graeme Cavers (Author)

Gemma Cruickshanks (Author)

Gemma Hudson (Author)

Fraser Hunter (Author)

Fiona McGibbon (Author)

Fiona Watson (Contributor)

Geoff Bailey (Contributor)

Cara Jones (Contributor)

Phil Richardson (Contributor)

Gordon Cook (Contributor)

Ramparts, Ring-marked stone, Broch, Ritual practice, Artefact assemblages, Torwood, Complex Atlantic Roundhouse
Iron Age, Roman, Prehistoric


This paper presents the first modern account of Torwood’s artefact assemblage and the most accurate survey of the site to date. These are combined with the results of a small-scale excavation on a newly discovered outer rampart and the publication for the first time of a reused concentric ring-marked stone and a carved face. In turn, these are combined with the results of a broader reassessment of the late prehistoric settlement in the Forth Valley. This review reveals a far greater range and variety of potentially contemporary architectural forms than previously recognised, which is argued to have arisen from conspicuous consumption in the context of local competition, which in turn was aided by the increased resources resulting from the proximity of the Roman Empire. It is further argued that Torwood may be pre-Roman in origin. The context of the concentric ring-marked stone may hint at contemporary Iron Age ritual practice, while the large proportion of local sites associated with both destruction by fire and the presence of large artefact assemblages suggests an underlying common practice regarding the closure of a site after its active use, which may share features with the destruction of souterrains in Fife and Angus.

Canmore ID 47004

Canmore ID 45379

Canmore ID 44651

Canmore ID 33350

Canmore ID 30539

Canmore ID 35451

Canmore ID 45356


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How to Cite
Cook, M., Cavers, G., Cruickshanks, G., Hudson, G., Hunter, F., McGibbon, F., … Cook, G. (2020). Torwood Broch: the reassessment of a Complex Atlantic Roundhouse near Falkirk. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 149, 25–50.

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