Kinlochbervie

Scotland.  Day 6, 4th July.

From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

On the road south from Durness, I was impressed by the bleak landscapes, devoid of habitations.  I would guess that in centuries past, before the clearances, there would have been scattered dwellings of crofters but today there are few signs even of sheep.

From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

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From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

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From the road between Durness and Kinlochbervie

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Sandwood Bay, Kinlochbervie

Oldshomore Beach, Kinlochbervie

In Kinlochbervie I met up with Pat Cooper from the Photo-i Forum.  He has a shop there where he sells some of his prints though it is taking up too much of his time and he is looking to sell out.  He was an engineer with the British Antarctic Survey in Antarctica for many years and has a site of his Antactic images.  He also has a site of images from the Highlands.  He pointed me towards the nearby Sandwood Bay.

Oldshomore Beach, Kinlochbervie

Oldshomore Beach, Kinlochbervie

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Oldshomore Beach, Kinlochbervie

Oldshomore Beach, Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

What struck me most about Kinlochbervie was not your usual tourist attraction.  It was an industrial wrecker perched in a location that took full advantage of spectacular sea views.

Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

Kinlochbervie

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Kinlochbervie

This last image is not so much the Laird parked at his mansion because the Merc was a vehicle in the wrecking yard too.

Durness

Scotland.  Day 5 -6, 3rd to 4th July.

Durness

Durness

Durness is a small town at the far north-west corner of Scotland.  Here I am driving in and approaching the town.  There are many magnificent beaches in the area.

Durness

Durness

If you look closely at this image or click on it for a larger view, you will see the remains of a wall.  This is part of the remains of one of the small townships that disappeared in the nineteenth century.

The vicious feudal system in Scotland meant that the big landowners owned everything including houses and fishing boats.  This area was owned by the Duke of Sutherland (living in Dunrobin Castle) and a lowland Scot who obtained the leasehold from the Duke in 1810 charged particularly high rents to encourage the development of sheep farming.  Most of the local villages disappeared from this pressure and probably from outright evictions over the next decades.  In 1841 the inhabitants of Ceannabeinne were told they would have to leave.  They successfully resisted for a while and an enquiry was held.  However, the enquiry found they effectively had no rights and they were evicted in 1842.  Their resistance, though, allowed the inhabitants of the village of Durness to hold out and in 1886 the Crofters Act decreed that landowners could no longer force tenants off their land.

Durness

Durness

An old bridge at Durness.  You can also see it in the first image.

Beach just past Balnakeil

Beach just past Balnakeil

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Balnakeil, just past Durness, was the largest town in the area.  By 1840, though, it had been cleared out for a sheep farm.  The houses you can see at far left are not Balnakeil but I think a modern farm.

Balnakeil

Balnakeil

There remains the picturesque remains of an old church at Balnakeil.  This and the next few images are from there.

Balnakeil

Balnakeil

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Balnakeil

Balnakeil

Balnakeil was a centre for Christianity from the eighth century.  This church was built in 1617 and rebuilt in 1690.  It was abandoned in the mid 19th century when a new church was built.

Balnakeil

Balnakeil

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near Balnakeil

Balnakeil Mill

Balnakeil Mill is just across the road from the church.  The flowers are daffodils, still in flower due to the sheltered location.

near Balnakeil

Balnakeil Mill

The mill was built around 1830 and was last used just before the First World War.

near Balnakeil

Balnakeil Mill

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Outside Smoo Caves

Outside Smoo Caves

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Smoo Cave

Smoo Caves

The main tourist attraction at Durness is Smoo Caves.  A midden outside the cave was found to have iron age remains at the top down to mesolithic remains at the bottom.  So there was habitation here between 5,000 to 10,000BC and 1000AD.  The cove was also extensively used for ship repair and temporary accommodation by the vikings.

Smoo caves

Smoo caves

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Smoo caves

Smoo caves

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