History

There are so many places of historical interest in the Assynt area, below is a list of just a few. Visit the Assynt Visitor Centre in Lochinver to find out more about them.

Am Bearag -Salmon Fishers Bothy

Perched above the shore, between the rocky bay and the sandy bay at Clachtoll, next to the Norman Macleod Memorial is the Salmon Bothy,

ice house and net drying poles, where Clachtoll Salmon Netting Station was based until it's closure in 1994. It was the last salmon netting station on the west coast to close.

 

Migrating salmon returning to the rivers Inver and Kirkaig were caught in nets which were set out along the coast by the fishermen from Clachtoll.

In it's heyday more than 100 salmon per day were netted, the season was from February 5th - August 20th.

 

Today, Comunn Eachdraidh Asainte (Assynt Historical Society) are involved in a project to restore the bothy and ice house

so that locals and visitors to the area can learn about the important part it played in the history of the area.

This project is almost fully completed and you can find information and displays in both the bothy and the ice house.

 

 

Clachtoll Broch

A short walk northwards along the coast from the campsite you will find Clachtoll Broch it's one of northern Scotland’s most iconic archaeological monuments. Surviving in places to first floor level- over 3m above the bedrock- the remains of this spectacular drystone tower are thought to be around 2000 years old.

 

For more information visit the Project website

The Rev. Norman MacLeod

Born on 29th September 1780 in Clachtoll to a crofting and fishing family, Norman MacLeod made his name as a preacher.

He studied at Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities and in 1815 took up a teaching post at the school in Ullapool.

 

His open defiance of the established church caused him to lose his teaching position, however, he gathered his own following of worshippers and after a brief stint as a herring fisher in Wick,

he left Scotland and emigrated to Canada in 1817 along with many of his followers. His family joined him a year later.

 

After more than 30 years in Canada at Pictou and St Annes, MacLeod and his followers set sail from St Helens in 1851 heading for Australia.

Two years of hardship followed and an outbreak of typhoid swept through the temporary community in Melbourne set up by MacLeod,

claiming the lives of many of his followers including three of his own sons.

 

In 1853, MacLeod left Australia and sailed to Auckland, New Zealand where he settled in Waipu.

He was joined by over 800 'Normanites' (as his followers came to be know) who arrived from Cape Bretton.

 

MacLeod remained in Waipu where he died from a fever on 14th March 1886.

A memorial stone to the memory of the Reverend Norman MacLeod sits above the rocky bay at Clachtoll.

Altan na Bradhan 
Ardvreck Castle and Calda House

On the shores of Loch Assynt stand the ruins of Ardvreck Castle and Calda House. The castle, stronghold of the MacLeods of Assynt, was built around 1597.

 

Calda House dates from about 1726 and was built by the MacKenzies who following a siege in 1672 had seized Ardvreck Castle from the MacLeods.

If you are walking along the coast to the south of Clachtoll you may find the ruins of Altan na Bradhan Meal Mill with the mill stones still at the site.

 

It is a reminder of the days when the area was more heavily populated and the people relied on their living from the proceeds of the land and the sea.

Smoo Cave

Smoo Cave is located at the village of Durness, on Scotland's most northerly coastline. Set into limestone cliffs, Smoo Cave is approximately 200 feet long, 130 feet wide, and 50 feet high at the entrance.

 

The cave is a great tourist attraction and is well worth a visit.

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Clachtoll Beach Campsite
134 Clachtoll, Lochinver
Sutherland, IV27 4JD

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TEL: 01571 855377 

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