Broch of Gurness is an example of a defensive tower and village dating from 100-200 BC, common for the time in Scotland. The tower would have been some 8 metres high, but enough remains to get a good idea of the layout.
The discovery of the broch is as interesting as the structure itself. In 1929 poet Robert Rendall was sketching on a grassy mound when of the legs of his stool sank into the ground. By removing some of the nearby stones he discovered a staircase leading down into the mound. Later that year a full excavation started leading to the discovery of the entire structure including defensive ditches.