MHG1377 - Possible Site of Monastic Settlement, Olrig Mains


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Supposed Site of (NAT) Monastery (NR)
OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1873)

Major Smith (Olrig House) states that some years ago he covered up a very fine well, situated in the centre of the then remaining ruins of this supposed monastery. It is not possible to obtain any authentic info about this monastery; Major Smith can give no particular account of it, other than the remains were those of a very old monastery.
Name Book 1873.

At ND 1879 6708 there is a slight elevation in the arable field measuring very approximately 65m N-S by 60m. According to the farmer at Olrig Mains it is more stony than the rest of the field, and the stone is of a different nature to that found elsewhere in the vicinity; however, it is not suggested that the elevation is necessarily an artificial construction. The farmer added that the edge of the rise becomes parched in dry conditions - possibly evidence of a stone wall. He is aware of the well but not of its location; his uncle unearthed it several decades ago. There appears to be no historical record of a monastery here, and the supposition of its existence appears fanciful. Visited by OS (J B) 7 December 1981.

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Grid reference Centred ND 1876 6708 (100m by 100m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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