a time of 'bross' in the north


Senior Member
Dear all,
Could you please help with a difficulty in the educational film "World after Stonehenge" (ep.3)?
In the film they discuss the history of Britain.

Sudden climate change and instability had ended the bronze age and led to a new era, of Iron. This was a time of bross in the north.

These are the phrases from the tease, so there is no any other context besides what can be derived from the above. The mistypes and mistakes in the script (that I have) happen though they are not frequent. In the film the host actually says something like bros (or bross) (I have checked), though he speaks with a heavy accent, I can't be sure. Have you any idea what bross (bross) could be ? To guess one should know British history well (which I don't, unfortunately).
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Could it have been "brass"? The long /a:/ could easily sound like /o/... Although I have no idea if there was such an age :)


    English - England
    I don't know which century/ies episode 3 discusses (you might be able to help) but "brass" is a northern English dialect term for wealth/money.

    This was a time of brass in the North. =
    This was a time when the North was wealthy.


    Senior Member
    The host is Neil Oliver, he looks very much like young Paul McCartnеy (is he of Irish descent?), lives close to Stirling (in Scotland). In ep. 3 he is going to talk about Roman invasion. I can't say (it is still not clear) whether brass is relevant in the film. But he constantly (in the first 2 episodes) pedals the welth of regional rulers, so PaulQ's assumption by now seems to be the best. The more so the fist topic is golden jewelry from the collestion of historical museum in Edinburgh.


    Senior Member
    Rereading the original text I have suddenly found out that the phrase (1) I asked about at the forum the day before yesterday has a continuation (phrase 3) that is some additional context. The text reads like this:
    1) This was a time of bross (bros) in the north…
    2) Everything about this place says keep out
    3) … And hill forts in the south, marking territories in which the control of land was everything.
    Phrase 3 is a continuation of phrase 1.
    Phrase 2 interrupts phrase 1.
    Does this change the matter?

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It was probably brochs.
    A broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. Brochs include some of the most sophisticated examples of drystone architecture ever created, and belong to the classification "complex Atlantic Roundhouse" devised by Scottish archaeologists in the 1980s. Their origin is a matter of some controversy. The theory that they were defensive military structures is not accepted by many modern archaeologists , while the alternative notion that they were farmhouses is dismissed by some others"


    If I didn't know the word, with his delicious accent I would probably hear something like bross or even brass.

    Or bronze? I am just going to watch it, if this is what you are talking about Alex since I missed it last week. Google (Neil Oliver BBC History of Ancient Britain).

    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Thank you very much, Hermione. So Neil Oliver wires the ideas shared by those who think that brochs were defensive military structures, doesn't he? As to the name of the film I have 4 episodes (it looks like there will be no more) under the name of 'World after Stonehenge'. I cannot believe our TV channel "Culture" works so quickly that I am translating the episodes you can watch on TV. Most probably you missed some other film with Neil Oliver.
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