MHG19638 - Sutherland Arms Hotel, Dornoch


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HOTEL (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Sutherland Arms Hotel marked on 1st edition Ordnance Survey map. <1>

The hotel burnt down in 1941. Local residents attest that the majority of the hotel structural remains were cleared from the site, though not until many years after the fire.

A photograph from 1909 shows that the hotel was clearly a combination of two distinct buildings from different eras. The building to the S is more typical of the late 18th or early 19th c. style of Highland architecture, predating the larger, late Victorian or Edwardian style building to the N. Several photographs taken after 1909 document various small additions to the front of the hotel. These included a conservatory and bay window.

A timber veranda visible on a 1909 photo had been demolished by the 1930s for the construction of a conservatory and the castellated doorway and bay window additions to the old building. The castellated addition was evidently designed to match the design of the new building.

Four evaluation trenches were excavated, recording numerous structural remains from the hotel, deposits from the hotel fire, and many cuts for utility services associated with both the hotel and the later filling station that occupied the site. <2>

Subsequently, the foundation trenches for the flats being built on the site were excavated under archaeological supervision. A number of other features associated with the hotel, and its enlargement through the late 19th and early 20th century were recorded. Four phases of the building were noted:
The first phase was a double fronted late 18th or early 19th c. town house. Historic mapping of 1832 suggests that this could have formed part of a longer terrace.
In the second phase, a porch and veranda was added, clearly visible on a photograph from 1909.
Perhaps contemporary with the veranda, the northern building was remodelled, in a late Victorian or Edwardian style complete with bay window, dating from the late 19th or very early 20th century.
In the final phases, the verdana was replaced by a flat-roofed castellated extension with bay window and glass-topped
conservatory, dating probably from the 1920s. This is visible in photographs from the 1930s. <3>

Historic plans and photographs of the building were submitted as part of a recent planning application. The plan shows the proposed reinstatement and alterations to the hotel drawn up in 1948. The plans were rejected due to post-war restrictions in the use of building materials. <4><5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 7987 8962 (19m by 34m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH78NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DORNOCH

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Related Investigations/Events (2)

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