Monday, September 23, 2013


Map showing Berriedale, Langwell and Badbea.
Ed: Francis Groome (1892-6)

Living within close proximity to each other, the 18th and 19th century residents of Badbea and Berriedale were all well known to each other and often worked together in the thriving fishing industry. 

Sheltered from the North Sea, the Berriedale village is on the northern east coast of Caithness between Helmsdale and Lybster. The village, now only one street, is a great deal smaller now than it was when the fishing industry was thriving. At Berriedale two rivers known as the Berriedale and Langwell Waters meet at the end of a wooded valley. Wild deer are sometimes still seen grazing in this area. Old fishing houses, now restored, line the shore. The beach is stony but sheltered by an outcrop of rock with the ruined medieval castle nearby. Not far from Berriedale are two towers that were built to assist ships at sea known as the Duke’s Candlesticks – after the Duke of Portland.

The modern estate of Langwell was formerly known as Berriedale, and was possessed by two families of Sutherlands. Those of the first family, descended from John Begg, son of Nicolas, Earl of Sutherland, were styled "Sutherlands of Berriedale" and the other family, whose immediate progenitors were the Sutherlands of Forse, descended from Kenneth, a younger brother of John Begg, were known as the "Sutherlands of Langwell".   

The attractive stony beach where the peaty Waters of Langwell and Berriedale flow into the crystal clear sea water. Glen Breaden ND1222

 Many graveyards in Northern Scotland overlook the sea or a loch. 
This one at Berriedale cuts a square out of the free flowering gorse known as whins here.
  Source:: Stuart Logan ND1222

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