Discussion in 'History' started by sculptor, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Northern Scotland brochs
    They do not seem to have had much defensive value
    The double wall in intriguing
    I suspect that the design was for comfort
    Having a double wall would allow for the interior of the inner wall to be warmer than the outer wall
    A buffer from the cold seems to be the most likely reason for the evolution of the design.

    Your thoughts?
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

    What is a broch?
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I have no idea. I visited the brochs of Glenelg once, but their purpose seems rather unclear. I gather they are unique to Scotland.
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member


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    Broch = stone tower with up to 50 feet interior diameter up to 50 feet tall made with dry stone(no mortar) construction with a double outside wall, often over 10 feet thick.
    It seems most likely that they had up to 3 interior floors(4?) made of timber construction.

    a double wall can be more stable than a single wall

    they may have had a timber and thatch roof

    Many think that these were either made by the Picts, or the ancestors of the Picts.

    It remains unclear whether these were individual family dwellings, winter refuges, or much as the long houses mentioned in BeoWulf.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    did post 4 answer your question?
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    According to various histories I half remember, they were constructed before the chimney was invented (a surprisingly late development, iirc). That may suggest explanations, re comfort/defense calculations.
  10. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

    Check for radiation

    Look like early version nuclear power reactor building

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  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    cooling tower---yeh it does look similar........

    Back to the op question
    Please do not feel intimidated if you are unschooled in architecture
    (I was just asking for gut-logical guesses.)

    A few years ago, while reading about Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, I came across Brunelleschi's use of double wall construction for his dome of Santa Maria del Fiore.
    He did the double masonry wall tied together for strength and lightness.

    And here:

    We have Scottish/Pictish brochs with double masonry(dry stacked stones) well tied together over 1800 years before Brunelleschi.

    More background:
    The only times I have read about current double wall structures the reason was for insulation( two 3 1/2 inch walls with R11 insulation separated by an airspace gives you more insulation value than one 7 inch wall with R22 insulation.

    So My question
    Did these Northern Scots or Picts use a tied together double wall for strength so that they could stack these stones up to 50 feet high?

    Or did they do this for the extra insulation value?

    Or ..........................................?

    or, learning by doing----how many pyramids do you have to build wrong before you build one correctly?

    So guys
    feel free to guess
  12. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    The double walls enclose a staircase to give access to upper floors. A staircase can be climbed with greater safety when there is a wall on either side of you.
    sideshowbob, iceaura and sculptor like this.
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    A good idea for a staircase, and no doubt employed, but the gaps in some - such as the particular photos - look narrow for that; especially toward the upper reaches, where safety would be of most concern. Granted those people were perhaps smaller then - but it looks like there have to be other reasons for some of these structures, in the first place.

    (nb: close confinement by a side wall does not improve safety - railings and handholds and landings and pitch settings do that, and a wall too close can interfere with their installation and effectiveness. People usually get hurt falling down or up the stairs, not over the rails, and maneuvering in a tight space without elbowroom makes that more likely. Structural support - stairs need a lot - seems a likelier benefit? )
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  14. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Like a 3-dimensional truss.
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i am guessing they would have had battering rams back then.
    additionaly they would have seen heavy mounted soldiers ride right through thatch houses and burn them to the ground etc.
    cant be busted open with a horse
    cant be burnt to the ground
    cant get hit by arrows or spears
    only 1 door in which would be through the point of a spear so whom ever comes in is garenteed not to live through it.
    elevation allowing an archer to go on the roof and pic off anyone attempting to lay in wait by the door, and a ready supply of large rocks to drop on their head to kill them should they run out of arrows.
    it would keep an even temperature which would be ideal for things like making cheese & wine & cold smoking meat.
    with wooden chimneys lined with moss they could have independently heated rooms while others were kept cool.
    note the lean in the upper half of the tower acting as a locking force using gravity making the internal wall at the base even stronger.
    sculptor likes this.

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