About The Braaid
The Braaid, or Braaid Viking Farmstead, contains the remains of a Celtic and Viking Age farmstead settlement. It is situated in the countryside looking over Glen Vine on the Isle of Man.
History of The Braaid
For a long time the upright stones of The Braaid were believed to be the ruins of a prehistoric stone circle with two ‘ceremonial avenues’, but excavations later showed them to be the remains of an Iron Age Celtic stone-built roundhouse (first occupied by Celts), and two Norse style longhouses (c950 AD), believed to have been added by the Vikings during their time in control of the island.
The fact the ruins are all in a similar condition suggests they were lived in at the same time and used together as a farmstead – originally a Celtic farm later taken over by a Viking settler.
The Celtic roundhouse would have been approximately 16 metres in diameter, and likely supported by large standing stones. Its walls were probably once made of stone, with a turfed roof. The two Viking longhouses consist of what is thought to be a large hall (which likely had external curved walls, with a roof held up by posts) and a smaller rectangular building, possibly used for cattle or sheep.
The site is believed to have been occupied until the 11th or 12th century.
The Braaid today
Today little remains of these structures apart from the stone circle outline of the roundhouse and the foundations of the two Viking longhouses.
The site is under the care and protection of Manx National Heritage, and has open access so you are free to wander around and take in this atmospheric site.
Getting to The Braaid
The Braaid is accessed via a path, and lies between Braaid hamlet and Mount Murray in the south of the island, midway between Douglas and Foxdale in the parish of Marown.
If arriving by car, from Douglas, drive along the A24 towards Foxdale. A local bus service stops nearby – take the 4 bus between Douglas and Peel, get off at the Braaid crossroads and then walk along the A24 towards Douglas. (The site is marked with a green sign posted on the main road).
A list of the best Viking sites, museums and ruins to visit, from the fortress at Trelleborg to Jelling archaeological site and more, includes an interactive map of Viking places to visit.