‹‹‹ prev (602)

(604) next ›››

(603)
DIRECTORY. OAITHNESS-SHIRE.
THUESO,
CASTLfiTOWN IN OLBIG, REAY, HALKIRK AND DUNNET.
1 HDRSO is a town and burgh of barony, in tho parish of its Savings Bank. Thurso ia a burgh of barony, hohlen of Sir John
name, nearly 290 miles n. from Edinburgh, 20^i n.w. from Wick, the George Tollemache Sinclair, Bart., as superior,
same distance w. from John O'Groiits, 4(5 E. from Tongue, and 96 The places of worship are the Parish church, two Free churches,
from Bouar Bridge, by the way of Tongue and the Western road, and chapels for the Original Secedera and Independents. The
Thurso is situated on the north-west coast of the county, on the churcli of the EstabUshment is a neat Gothic structure, with a tower
head of a spacious bay, surrounded by a rocky coast, its headlands and clock— the latter presented by the late Henry Miller, Esq., of
forming a bow. renders it one of the finest bays in the kingdom, London, but a native of Thurso. The first Free chui-ch is con-
Here the turbulent waves of the Peutland Firth and tbe powerful spicuous for its elegance of architecture. There are public and
currents find resistance in tbe east by Dunnet head, which stretches Free church schools well conducted and attended. Two institutions
out its rocky promontory with a precipitous frout, whilst the furious have lately been erected in Thurso, the first-mentioned situated at
winds from the west are checked in their wild career by the Holburn the top of Sinclair street, and was endowed by Alexander Miller,
iiead— its original name, and what it is still called in the Gaelic Esq., for the education of males; the second erected by public sub-
language, is " Iiiuerhorsa," Inver signifying the mouth of a river, scription, and situate in Olrig street, for tbe education <.f females.
It is said, and with probabilitv,thatthe name is derived fromHorsa, A little to the east ofthe town stands Thurso Castle, the seat ol
a Saxon general, who landed here in tbe filth century. The Danes Sir John George Tollemache Sinclair, Bart., which has been recently
were the earliest possessors of Caithness. Tortreus, the Danish greatly enlarged and modernised. Thurso parish gave birth to
historian, mentions that in the bcginniug of the eleventh century, Richard Oswald, Esq., one of the plenipotentiaries from the court of
Count Moddan quartered his army at Thurso, which he terms " The Saint James for settling the peace of 178S. It is also the birth-
Tuwn of Caithness," and that they were plentifully supplied with place of the late Sir John Sinclair, Bart., of Ulbster, whoso
spoil from the neighbourhood, till subdued by Thorkel. He adds, name is associated with the statistical account of ■Scotland,
that Moddan had his camp on the promontory of Thurso, where which was collected and published in consequence of his inde-
vestiges of a wail, which fortified it, may still be perceived. Dr. fatigable exertions, to whose memory a very elegant monu-
Barry states that Earl Erland, in the time of Malcolm IL, King of ment of freestone has been erected on a square piece of ground
Scotland, about the year 1005, resided for the most part at Thin-so. fronting the Established church: it was presented to the town by
Buchanan mentions many battles between Malcolm and the Danes Alexander Miller, Esq. The late Robert Dick, an eminent botanist
in Moray, which4n those times comprehended Caithness and all tho and geologist, was a resident of this town, and his collection of
northern counties of Scotland. We find by one of the statutes of specimens now forms an important part of the Thurso museum.
King David, of Scotland, that the weights "and measures of Caith- The weekly market is held on Friday, and the annual fairs on the
ness, or Thurso, were the standard for Scotland. Vessels of any second Tuesday in July, and first Friday in September. By the
burthen may find shelter in the bay under any weather, and few returns made to Government in 1871 the parish of Thurso had a
places possess superior advantages for refuge to the mariner as population of 5,754, the town containing 3,622.
Scrabster roads, as it is called. There is a pier, erected by sub- Reay is a parish, about ten miles w. of Thurso. It is very wild
scription, hut it is not of that magnitude demanded by the nature and hilly, Birna mountain being 2,000 feet above the sea level. The
of the place, and the depth of water which one upon a larger scale, parish is about seventeen miles long, with a breadth of eight miles,
with addition of a breakwater, would ensure. The town, which is There is lime, granite, millstone, with traces of lead and iron,
situated about two miles to the eastward, on the left bank of the mineral springs, &c. There are Established and Free churches
river, is neat, clean, and rapidly increasing in size. A lino of railway and schools in the parish. Fairs arc held ou the Monday before
has recently been opened in connection with the Sutherland and and Tuesday after August 15th. Population of the parish in 1S71,
Highland Railway, which affords a direct communication between 2,331.
Wick, Thurso and the South. The walks in the neighbourhood of Castletown is a small neat village, ia the parish of Oli-ig,
the town are romantic, and some approach close to the edge of the ■ situated rather more than 15 miles n.w. of Wick, and nearly 6 e. of
precipitous cliffs overhanging tlie sea. The river too is beautiful, j Thurso. In the Immediate vicinity of tho village is the estate of
and lamed for the almost miraculous draughts of salmon occasionally : Castlehill, from which is quarried an excellent kind of stone,
furnished. Either bank is connected by an elegant stone bridge, \ adapted to the purposes of flooring and flagging footways, &c.; it
but the want of a better pier is much felt, as vessels intending i lies in beds of from three-quarters of an inch to six inches in
to enter must wait the tide before they cross the bar. This is a ' thickness. Blocks have often been raised measuring one hundred
great inconvenience to the main export of the place, which consists superficial feet; from hence they are carried to the shore, where
of the " Caithness pavement," an article in gi'eat demand, and the they are prepared and dressed, previous to shipping, to facilitate
manufacture of which is carried on to a prodigioiis extent, and which the small and convenient harbour has been formed. In 1871
involves the prosperity of the place. The peculiar excellence the parish of Olrig had a population of 2,021, Castletown having
belonging to this staple is its durability, its resistance to moisture, 911 of that number.
and its retention of an unbroken surface. Specimens may be seen . Dunnet, a parish 3 miles n.e. from Castletown, about ten miles
in the new houses of Parliament, London, and many pubhc buildings long by four wide, is the most northern part of Scotland. Dunnet
throughout the United Kingdom. The want of proijcr shipping Head is a rock from 100 to 400 feet high. There is a ligtt upon it
accommodation, which has long been felt, is now (1877) about to be at an altitude of 346 feet, first lighted in 18S1, and is seen by the
supplied, a movement having been set on foot to obtain the neces- mariner for 23 miles. There are Established and Free churches,
sary funds and parliamentary powers. Nowhere in Scotland has together with schools. Fairs are held on the first Tuesday in April
agricultural progress been so' rapid as in Caithness. Tho industry and October (old style) for cattle, horses, and pigs. Population of
and energy of the farmer generally rise in proportion to the the parish in 1871, 1,661.
obstacles which nature presents. Immense tracts of heath land, ; Halkirk is a parish, 7 miles 6. of Thurso, in length it is about 24
which would have been left uncultivated in the fertile Lowlands, miles, by a breadth of about 4. It contains about 24 small lakes,
have been subjected to the plough, whilst many thousands of acres abounding with trout, &c. There are Established and Free
of bog and swamp have been diained. The monetary establish- ; churches, and public schools. Many ruins may bo seen in this
ments are, branches of the National Bank of Scotland, the ! parish. The main line of the Sutherland and Caithness Railway
Commercial Bank, the Aberdeen Town and County Bank, and a i passes through and has a station here. Population in 1871, 2,664.
POST OFPICE, THUESO,
ALEXANDER J. M'DONALD, Post Master.
From the South at thirty-eight minutes past four morning.
From Melvich, Fair, Reay and Tongue, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, at Saturdays, at four afteruoou.
From Kirkwall, Stromness, and the Islands at half-past nine morning.
From Dunnet, Calder, and Castletown at twenty minutes past six evening.
Oespatclies.
To the South at ten minutes past eleven morning, and ten evening.
To the West and Reay and Tongue at seven morning, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
To Kirkwall and Stromness at eight morning.
To Castletown, Dunnet, Calder, Reay, and Fores at seven morning.
Money Order and Telegraph Office and Savings Bank.
Post omce, Castletown, Da\id Keith, Post Master.— Letters arrive (from Thurso) at ten minutes past nine morning, and are
despatched thereto at twenty minutes past four afternoon.
Money Order and Telegraph Office and Savings Banl:
.V ^os* <>®cei DuKNET, M. Taylor, Post Mistress.— Leitevs am ve (from Thurso) at ten morning, and are despatched thereto at
three afternoon.
mne?°r],,ffnTto toeSo\to"ai?wfzJifnlng''"^ ''™'" T'^"'^") «' '-" ■"-"'"g' ^"'^ «" aespatched thereto «t
Money Order OiTice and Smings Banlr.
9uartm°pasUwo alteraoonf °^^* M'Donald, Post Mmter.-LMeTs arrive (from Thurso) at nine morning, ana are aespatched thereic at a
1-1 525

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence