MHG12227 - Fishing Station - Lochinver


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FISHING STATION (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The site of a Fishing Station established in 1775.

By the side of Loch-Inver is the fishing station of Culag, built at the expence of £2000 Sterling, by John-Joseph Bacon, Esq; of the Isle Of Man, and one Mr Donald Ross partner, for a certain share of that sum. Of late years the lease and buildings have been all transferred to other adventurers. There is a small cruive on the little river of Culag, where perhaps a barrel of salmon may be catched throughout the season; its contiguity to the salmon-fishing of Inver River can be the only reason for the expence of its having a cruive and small chest across. <1>

The fishing station is shown and labelled 'Red Herring House' on a map dated 1793 belonging to the Sutherland Estate. The map is a plan of an intended road from Loch Inver by the Portenleick Ferry surveyed by George Brown. It is available to view on the National Library of Scotland website. The station is shown as a collection of three buildings arranged around a central open space, presumably a yard, with a fourth building just to the southeast. What was probably a walled drying yard is shown adjoining to the south. <2>

The site of the Fishing Station established in 1775, is now the Culag Hotel (previously known as Lochinver House). <3>

The fishing station of Lochinver was owned by Macdonald of Skeabost who, from 1816 to 1848 also owned Isle Ristol, fomerly the property of the BFS (Dunlop 1952,272). Consequently, the New Statistical Account (1837-40) includes references not only to safe anchorage here, but also to a small convenient harbour, where 'a pier has been erected' (NSAS Assynt, V15,115). Lochinver had been one of the 'maritime villages' where development was earlier contemplated (Henderson 1812b, 143), and on a map from Dunrobin (Burnett & Scott 1833) its roadstead is shown with several ships. The new pier (1969) has covered over the site beyond the mouth of the River Culag to the south of the village where older OS maps marked a pier. The embankment of the road from Culag Bridge along the shore is of medium-sized blocks, quite neatly set, and may preserve the type of the masonry of the old pier. The shoreline of the head of the Loch contains several well smoothed rock landings, the best being in a small inlet below the church. <4>

Visited by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in December 2009. Noted as a modern pier and associated containers providing fishing boat moorings. <5>

The arrangement of buildings shown on the 1793 map (<2>) is interesting because it potentially throws light on the unusual plan of Lochinver House, which succeeded the fishing station on the site, as shown on the OS 1st edition map. It is possible that the buildings of the station were adapted and incorporated into the later lodge. Unfortunately the successor to Lochinver House, the Culag Hotel, has seen considerable redevelopment with both partial demolition and remodelling as well as fire damage so it is unclear whether any part of the original fishing station still survives at its core. It is clear, however, that the possible drying yard shown to the rear of the station on the 1793 map later became the formal rear gardens of Lochinver House. There are a number of old photographs available that were taken from a number of different angles and at different times to be used for postcards. These show the development and redevelopment of the buildings and some of the older ones may show surviving parts of the original fishing station [IS-L 15/03/2024].

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NC 0921 2218 (117m by 126m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC02SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

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