Broch of Burrian Necklace

Ola Gorie produces some fantastic Celtic jewellery. This Cross necklace was featured today on her blog and I have taken the liberty of sharing what she has written about it. I am still trying to figure out the reblog business so I hope Ola Gorie is okay with me just cutting and pasting for now. 🙂


“The Broch of Burrian is on the shore on North Ronaldsay, the most remote and northerly of the Orkney islands. This cross suggests the presence of Celtic Christianity amidst Pictish culture in the middle years of the first millennium. The broch, a defensive tower house, is thought to date from the first or second centuries BC although there is some evidence of earlier habitation.

The mighty broch has four defensive ditches and there were Celtic dwellings beyond the tower. Inside the broch there was a well or chamber and perhaps the beginning of stairs to a series of underground chambers. The most significant find in 1870 was a stone engraved with a cross and Ogham script. The Burrian Cross, on which Ola has based her Celtic cross necklace design, has since become one of the symbols of Orkney. It is now displayed in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Celtic Cross Necklace Based on Symbol of Orkney

The builders of this stunning broch placed their stout defences next to the fierce tide roosts where the sea boils and roars where the tides meet. Visitors today may see cormorants drying their wings on the shore and seals basking on the rocks.
The Pictish Ogham script has yet to be translated although there have been several attempts. Current thinking is that the language spoken by the Picts, was a form of British similar to P-Celtic Welsh rather than Q-Celtic Irish.
The broch was excavated by Dr William Traill in 1870. It is suggested the cross shows evidence of the existence of a Celtic Christian community. Also found was an ox-bone with Pictish symbols and a pebble with Celtic designs. A Celtic bell of the earlier type (5th – 9th century) was also found and three bone dice and a perforated bronze needle.”



2 thoughts on “Broch of Burrian Necklace

Looking forward to hearing from you

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s