Sunday, 12 July 2020

Much of the base of Caithness is made of flagstone - a commodity that when quarried has been shipped across the world. Pavements in many of the world's cities are made of Caithness Flagstone. Flagstone quarries still exist but many like this one at Achscrabster are now largely part of our industrial heritage.

A feature of this and other local quarries was the use of windmills for power. The surviving Achscrabster stump, one of several still existing, is about 12 ft diameter at the base and 13 ft high, and was probably operational pumping water in c1860.

Thursday, 11 June 2020


The centre piece of the township of Ackergill is Ackergill Tower. Helen Gunn, the maid of Braemore was abducted and held captive in Ackergill Tower. She jumped and today her ghost is reputed to continue to move among the rooms.

Greatly enlarged by Sir Richard Dunbar of Hempriggs, it became the Dunbar ‘seat’ for many years. The Dunbar’s were also instrumental in establishing a harbour and a fishing station at Ackergill. Fishermen and their families were imported from the Moray Coast. Sitting in Sinclair Bay it was something of a harbour of refuge when ships that were unable to enter Wick Harbour. Passengers from the regular Steamers were often landed at Ackergill. Boats however did have challenges in Sinclair Bay and to negate the need to wheel a lifeboat out from Wick, Ackergill was established as a Lifeboat Station.

Farming land is rich in Ackergill and supported three large farms – Ackergill Mains, Upper Ackergill and Shorelands.