Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Caithness and Sutherland

On Monday morning, we had breakfast and then wandered across the street to the Dornoch Cathedral. The Cathedral first received it's charter in the 13th century and was the cathedral church for the diocese of Caithness.

The Cathedral was burned down in 1570 by the MacKays of Strathnaver. The repairs were one of the most costly for any church repairs in history at that time, and were paid for by the Duchess of Sutherland.

The remains of several generations of Sutherlands are buried in the family plot which is below the chancel floor.

Sarcophagus of Richard de Moravia, brother of the founder of the Cathedral

From the Cathedral, we did a quick whip round of some of the historic sites in Dornoch before heading on to Rogart to see the Macdonald Cairn, a memorial to the grandparents of Sir John A. Macdonald.

cairn to the memory of Sir John's grandparents
made from stones recovered from their cleared croft

Then we headed to Helmsdale to see the Emigrant Statue

The Emigrants: Father looking forward, mother looking back to Scotland

After a lovely lunch at La Mirage, we made our way through Caithness, heading to Thurso and the ferry port at Scrabster. 

We stopped at Badbea to see the Clearance Village. The wind was howling so hard it sounded like jet engines overhead. Ed and I ventured off to see the ruins of this once vibrant community. 

remnants of a croft

path to the edge of the village

a cairn on the edge of the sea

the heather is in bloom

Ed getting just the right picture

Working to stay upright in the gale force winds

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