The Leckie Broch

The little girl here is sitting on a rock covered in cup & ball markings which may be thousands of years old.

The discovery of these markings led to a substantial archaeological investigation over several summers and the discovery of an ancient Broch with its associated midden.

Deep in a wood in Leckie Estate a small girl sits on a rock with strange carvings on it…..

The story I have is that one day Lady Younger was out walking her dogs in the woods when one of them became snagged in a thicket of rhododendrons.  While rescuing it she noticed the markings on that rock and later passed word of her find to contacts in Glasgow.  That resulted in an archaeological dig which uncovered evidence of a large, circular, stone-built broch almost 1900 years old which had apparently been destroyed very suddenly indeed, probably by the Romans.

Dr Louisa Campbell    

“A large array of locally-manufactured goods was also found at Leckie Broch, Stirlingshire. Iron sheep shears confirm the production of wool for textile manufacture, spindle whorls and loom weights were used for weaving, and ochre (yellow) and haematite (red) pigments produced dyes. Made in Britain, the jewellery includes enamelled pieces, glass beads and bracelets popular with both Iron Age peoples and Romans. These valuable personal adornments might have highlighted the status, power and wealth of the owner.  Board games arrived in Scotland with the Romans and Scottish sandstone playing counters and many Roman objects were recovered from Leckie.”   

Euan W MacKie, BA, PhD, FSA - Summary of the Archaeological Excavation at Leckie

“Some of the results of the excavation of the broch at Leckie between 1970 and 1978 are briefly described. The clear stratigraphy and the many closely dateable Roman finds allow new conclusions to be drawn about the date of some Iron Age artefacts and about the origin of the southern Scottish brochs. For example it seems now that some of these brochs were built, presumably with the approval of the Roman Army, during the Flavian period (AD 80-100) and probably soon after Agricola's recall.

The richness of the finds at Leckie, and the many valuable imported items, support the view that the southern broch builders were originally allies of Rome. Later, soon after the start of the Antonine period, things became different and this broch, probably with others, was destroyed - possibly by the Roman forces”    

Sadly the forest has recovered its own.  The rhododendrons and scrub birch have once again overgrown the area and the last time I looked the carved rock had regained its anonymity under a thick covering of moss.….. And the little girl? My daughter, Allison. She’s now a wife and mother of our two fine grandchildren.