HistoryThe Braaid is believed to have started as a stone circle site. Later it became a Norse farmstead set in a low valley, where good grazing land and climate was likely to have existed. The site consisted of a Celtic stone roundhouse and two rectangular constructs of Norse origins, believed to be from Iron Age, with the earlier Neolithical or Bronze Age periods for the stone circle site not ruled out.
The roundhouse was about 16.5 metres in diameter. Its structure was held up by massive standing stones around the circumference. The walls were made of stone and filled with earth. The roof was made of turf placed on rafters made of brush and supported by timber posts.
The two longhouses each had a different purpose. The first longhouse had curved walls (resembling an upturned boat with ends cut off) made of turf with the ends made of timber. The roof was supported by two rows of posts standing on a large stone. Like most Viking houses of the time there were no internal walls. The house measured about 20 by 9 metres, which was larger for its time being more then twice the norm.
The second longhouse was used for cattle or other animals. This was based on the many stone stalls along the north wall. The roof was low and lightweight and did not have the curved walls like the other longhouse. The building measured 18 by 8 metres.
Viking life centred around the home, which may account for the size of the building. Though the size of the constructs may indicated that the site was more then just a farmstead. The Braaid has the best above ground preserved site on the Isle of Man for a settlement from this period. Excavated in 1942 by Fleure and Dunlop and later in 1964 by Gelling.
LocationMidway between Douglas and Foxdale in the south section of the island. Site marked with a green sign posted on the main road.
Map Ref: SC 325 766
Located on the A24 between Douglas and Foxdale.
Take the bus route no. 4 servicing between Douglas and Peel. Take the stop at the Braaid crossroads. The site is just a short walk along the A24 towards Douglas.
Take the Steam Railway or the Electric Railway to Douglas. Then take the no. 4 bus to Peel and follow directions given above for by bus.
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