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Ruins, Dirlot Castle, Halkirk

Ruins, Dirlot Castle, Halkirk

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LOCATION: Halkirk
PERIOD: 1900s; 1910s
DISTRICT: Caithness - Western
OLD COUNTY/PARISH: CAITHNESS:Halkirk
CONTRIBUTOR: Highland Libraries
COLLECTION NAME: Postcards
location map

This postcard shows Dirlot castle, Halkirk.

Dirlot Castle was built in the first half of the 14th century by Sir Reginald Cheyne. Although most castles in Caithness are on the coast, Dirlot Castle is about 20 miles inland in the middle of the Flow Country, an ever-moving peat bog.

The castle was built on a plug of rock which rises to almost 50 ft (15m) in the River Thurso. The rock is adjacent to a bend in the river next to a deep pool, rumoured to hold treasure guarded by a vicious water horse.

It was a small keep, probably more for a small garrison of soldiers than for great defensive purposes. The tower rose to about 60 ft (18m) and had three storeys. During its useful life it was occupied by the Cheynes, the Gunns, the Mackays and the Sutherlands, before it was abandoned around 1660. Stones from the building were used in other projects in the area including the wall of the nearby graveyard.




IDENTIFIER: QZP40_CARD_5605


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