Located on the most northerly coast of mainland Scotland, Castletown in Caithness is frequently referred to as the 'Flagstone Village', reflecting its association with the quarrying and export of high quality flagstone as paving and construction material by the 18th century improver and founder of the Castlehill flagstone industry, James Traill.
Important though the flagstone industry was, Castletown and the surrounding Parish of Olrig has a much bigger story to tell, revealing a rich and diverse social, economic and archaeological heritage stretching from its earliest origins in pre-history, the impact of Viking habitation and the strategic role played by RAF Castletown in the defence of Scapa Flow and the north British coastal waters during World War II, to the present day.
Castletown Heritage Society is a community-led registered charity. We are based in Castlehill Heritage Centre which we operate both as a unique visitor experience and as an educational resource for local students, school children and the broader community.
Through a programme of interpretive exhibitions, displays and interactive workshops we seek to stimulate and sustain interest and understanding of the history, heritage, vernacular skills and environment of Castletown and the Parish of Olrig.
Our well-established archaeological research facility supports our programme of archaeological activities, such as exploring the Bronze Age settlements and Viking heritage in the local area. Visitors are also welcome to peruse and enjoy our heritage-themed garden or picnic at the tables in the sheltered patio area.
Immediately adjacent to the Centre are a Heritage Trail which outlines the stages of flagstone production, and picturesque Castlehill Harbour with spectacular views over the bay to nearby Dunnet Head, the most northerly point on the UK mainland.
Castlehill Heritage Centre is located on Harbour Road on the seaward periphery of Castletown and is signposted from the A836 both at the easterly entrance to Castletown and from the centre of the village. Ample parking is available.
The Centre is open 2pm-4pm every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, all year round; other times by arrangement. The Centre, heritage garden and picnic area are fully accessible.
See our website for latest news and programme.
Castlehill Heritage Centre