The Caithness Broch Project is building a Lego Iron Age Broch model as an “eye-catching prop” to encourage people to find out more about the construction and use of brochs, reports the BBC. Brochs are Iron Age roundhouses, and ruins of these homes can be found in the north and west Highlands and Orkney.
Caithness in the Highlands has more broch sites than anywhere else in Scotland. Working with universities and heritage and archaeology groups, Caithness Broch Project is also planning to hold a range of events during 2017’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. These include clearing vegetation from broch sites to better aid their preservation and running art competitions for schools.
Specialist historical Lego Builders – ‘Brick to the Past’
At a height of 40cm and covering an area of about 1.2m, the roundhouse and a surrounding landscape are made of 10,000 pieces. Brick to the Past, a team specialising in historically-themed Lego models, built it for the Caithness Broch Project.
The ruins of what were some of Scotland’s oldest and most formidable structures can be found in the Highlands and Orkney. Caithness has more broch sites than anywhere else in Scotland. Caithness Broch Project was set up to raise awareness of the ancient buildings.
There are also impressive ruins of brochs in Glenelg in the north west Highlands, while evidence of what is thought to be a rare example of a broch in an urban setting has been uncovered in Stirling. The stone-built houses have been excavated by archaeologists at Thrumster, near Wick, and near Dunning in Perthshire.
10,000 bricks for the Lego Iron Age Broch
The Lego model is to be put on public display later this summer. Dan Harris and James Pegrum, of Brick to the Past, worked on the project. Mr Harris said:
“I built the broch itself, while James built the landscape. Brick to the Past specialise in creating massive, detailed and meticulously-researched, historically-themed Lego models and we have a large and growing portfolio covering important periods of British history.”
“We love history and believe that Lego offers a great way of engaging both young and old in the subject. So when Caithness Broch Project approached us we jumped at the chance to work with them.
“Because of the broch’s round but tapered shape, this is undoubtedly the most challenging model I have ever built, but it’s been a fascinating subject and great fun to make.”
The Work of the Caithness Broch Project
There are more broch sites in Caithness than anywhere else in Scotland, yet we do so little as a County to promote them. By rebuilding a Broch, using the same techniques as the original builders, we will provide an insight into how Iron Age people lived their lives in Caithness. They pursue several projects to this aim, one of which is a full-scale Iron Age Broch replica.
Whilst we work on all of the above projects, CBP’s main aim is to build a replica broch!
The reconstruction of a broch would have several benefits – in addition to providing an iconic tourist attraction, it would provide employment from the construction phase through to long after the building has been completed. The construction phase would help bring the dying trade of Caithness drystone dyking to the attention of the public.
Drystone dyking workshops would be provided, allowing the public to come and try out a once-thriving skill. The broch would become a first-class ‘living history’ visitor attraction, furnished with all the items and furniture of the time, as well as using re-enactors to paint a picture of ancient life.
Creating such an attraction would provide a welcome boost to Caithness’ tourism infrastructure, creating jobs and making the area more economically secure, as well as providing Caithness with a truly iconic emblem!
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