Broch Building / Landmark in Caledonia | World Anvil
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The brochs are the curious dwellings of the northern tribes. Most commonly found in the lands of the Cornavi, Caerni, Orcades, Sketis and Thule. They are mighty round towers of stone, the tallest buildings in Britain, reaching lofty heights for these parts. They are much like the roundhouses found elsewhere but have been built mostly of stone with unusually thick walls of drystone construction. With one long entrance usally built to face the rising sun. Along the entrance corridor are chambers accessed through a low doorway where the hounds are kept to warn of any visitors. A stout door barrs access secured by a log bolt on the other side, sometimes even two doors before entering into the central space of the dwelling. A fire dominates ones view upon entering, with a number of rooms dividing up the circular interior. Set into the floor is a well where water can be drawn in case of fire or boiled to purify water in case of siege. Within the thick walls are more dark small rooms used for storing grains and surplus. Set into the wall face all around are niches and shelves where they are proud to display the decorated skulls of their ancestors so that the dead are always a part of their home and their spirit keeps a watchful eye over the household.    Built within the thick walls is a staircase that winds up around the building to access a second floor. This is the living quarters of the clan with the floors and rooms set against the wall all made of wattle panels and decorated with fabrics. In the centre is another hearth to give light and warmth to the household as they sleep in their chambers.    Above this is another level accessed by a ladder. At the uppermost level they dry the grains of the harvest by the smoke and heat rising from the fires below. The thatch of the round conical roof can be seen from below. These grains are dried and then stored in jars only to be milled and baked when needed. In this way the broch is not only the home of the clan but their barn, kiln and storehouse all in one. Such ingenuity is uncommon in the south and it's as if the northern tribes have made their homes the centre of all duties in life, there is nothing a man needs that cannot be found within the confines of a broch. The dwellings is their home, their temple and their places of work and play, even in death they can be assured a place in their home.    The brochs are found all over the north but each area has developed their own preference as to their situation in the landscape. Those in the western isles have built them on islets in the middle of lochs, so that the broch is entirely surrounded by water, only joined to the labs by a causeway. In the lands of the Caerni they occupy steep rocky knolls overlooking the river below. In the Orcades they have built entire villages around the broch, space enough to house the family and extended retinite all enclosed within a rampart and ditch defended by a stout forework. Some house over one hundred individuals and there are many of these sites across the islands there. In the lands of the Cornavi many types of brochs can be found but the most unique are those built on promontories jutting out into the sea. With precipitous cliffs all around and joined only to the land by a narrow isthmus. They are not only mighty homes but also stout defense if the need arises.

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