The Caithness Broch Project
SHORTLISTED CATEGORY E: Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording
Kenneth McElroy and Iain Maclean, The Caithness Broch Project
Concerned by the downturn in employment at Dounreay, the biggest local employer in the area, Iain and Kenneth decided to form the Caithness Broch Project in 2013 to help highlight the rich archaeological landscape of Caithness, an area which had hitherto underexploited its own tourist potential. Their flagship project is to construct a replica broch, which would serve as a workshop for drystone dyking – a dying local skill – as well as a major archaeological experiment, and, finally, a major ‘living history’ tourist attraction for the north of Scotland. Between April 2017 and May 2018, however, the Caithness Broch Project have busied themselves with a number of exciting projects – ranging from the installation of interpretation panels at 3 brochs; pan-Caithness archaeological investigations and excavations; an exhibition at the local museum featuring a Lego Broch; a broch conference and numerous other outreach events.
The projects have shown a real pan-Caithness ethos and the team have managed to engage with a wide variety of people: from first-time archaeologists to younger audiences, they have worked to ensure that everyone can begin to learn more about their past, and develop a real interest and pride in their archaeology.