PLANS for the ambitious Caithness Broch Project, supported by The National as media partner, are starting to take shape.

Project director and co-founder Iain Maclean, 32, a local builder and a prehistory enthusiast, who will be designing and building the Iron Age roundhouse, has studied brochs in Caithness, the west coast and Sheltand to come up with the best design.

He said: “I have been looking at lots of different brochs with regards to drawing the plan like Yarrows and Nybster in Caithness Only certain brochs exist above first-floor height and that is Dun Telve in the west coast and Mousa in Shetland.

“The broch I have designed is based on Dun Telve with some little changes here and there.”

He took his drawings to a design engineer in Dounreay who turned it into a 3D image to allow them to make changes required under the Scottish planning laws.

“We have made a lot of changes to the plans on the 3D model to make it safer for public like door heights and we’ve adjusted some of these things to suit Scottish regulations.

Most of the sizes that we’ve taken are representative of the broch archaeology. So we’ve been stuck with trying to be as authentic as possible and adhering to the planning regulations, which has been problematic but not impossible. Our broch will be representative of the best sites to see in Caithness.

“It will be 18-metres on the bottom and up to stone height it will be 11m, then it will have a roof on top of that, which we are in the middle of designing just now.”