Love visiting Caithness or looking to pay us a visit? No matter which, you might want to take a moment to learn a little more about the rich history of the area, meaning that you can fully understand the foundations and immerse yourself in all the aspects of Caithness life!
That is why we have put together our quick history of Caithness, a guide to the past and heritage of our beautiful area!
The Early Years
The area of Caithness started as a Pictish province that was known as Cait or Cat. It was then invaded by Norsemen which led to the name being changed, reflecting the Norse takeover.
Between the years of 1165 and 1214 the area of Caithness was integrated into the Scottish Kingdom and ruled by William the Lion. With the Norse takeover the earldom of Caithness was held by the Norse Earls of Orkney until 1231.
After this time, it was then passed between a number of several noble Scottish families throughout the Middle Ages. This included the Sinclairs and the Campbells of Glenorchy.
The Rise Of Industries
During the 18th century the estates in Caithness were sold off to several local families, including the Traills of Castletown. This family were responsible for encouraging agricultural advances in the area and developing the agricultural industry.
The 19th century saw a further rise in the economic growth of the area thanks to the export of flagstones and the herring industry too.
Whilst these traditional economies carried on during the 20th century, they were soon joined with more modern earners such as tourism, nuclear power and also fine glass manufacturing.
A Sign Of Times Gone By
With such a rich history, it comes as little surprise that you will find a number of prehistoric remains in Caithness. Standing stones, hill forts and Cairns can be found scattered around the area and there is also more ancient dry stone buildings (brochs) then can be found in any other Scottish County.
Castles And Chapels
Looking through the Caithness area you will find traces of early Christian chapels throughout. One of these is St Mary’s Forse in Thurso. There are also a whole host of castles in Caithness too. The coastal areas boast medieval examples with the inland examples coming from a much later date.
Tempted to discover the heritage, culture and beauty of Caithness? With so much to see and a whole variety of things to learn, there really is plenty of chances to further your knowledge of the Scottish Highlands.
If you are heading to Caithness for fun, or for the history then Mackay’s Hotel might just be the ideal place to stay. Not only do we love Caithness but we love ensuring that our guests have a wonderful stay that will go down in their history!