MHG20238 - Farmsteading, 125m South of Heatherbrae, Ulbster


C18-C19 farmstead of two buildings, an enclosure and original access track.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

ND34SW 295 3183 4059

A farmstead comprising one roofed long building and one unroofed building is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Caithness 1877, sheet xxix). Two roofed buildings are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:2500 map (1996).
Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 22 March 1996

The ruins of this farmstead, which stand on the highest part of a field of improved pasture about 130m SSW of the former station master's house at Ulbster Station (ND34SW 268), comprise two buildings arranged in a T-shape. The southern (YARROWS04 763) forms the bar of the T and contains a cottage with an outshot attached to its W end. The cottage measures 12.5m from E to W by 4.5m transversely over walls 0.6m in thickness and standing to their full he ight. There is a central entrance and flanking windows in the S side, but a window in the N side indicates that in addition to the kitchen and parlour, there was once a third room at the rear of the house. The W side of this room was formed by a stone par tition, which allowed the provision of a fireplace and there are also fireplaces in the gables forming the ends of both the main compartments. The internal faces of the walls are heavily plastered. The outshot has an entrance in its S side.
The building (YARROWS04 764) forming the shaft of the T on the N was probably also once a dwelling but was later converted to a byre or barn. It measures 7.6m from N to S by 5.4m transversely over walls 0.6m in thickness and these also stand to their full height. There are roughly opposed doorways on the E and W, the latter blocked, and in the N half of the interior there are also opposed windows. The N gable contains a central fireplace flanked by cupboards, and the S gable a doorway at its E end. S end of the W wall extends 2m to meet the S building.
As depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Caithness 1877, sheet xxix), only the S building is roofed, and a small garden enclosure is shown about 10m to the E. The depiction on the 2nd edition of the map (1907, sheet xxix) is similar, except by this time the garden had been removed and replaced by another about 10m to the S of the steading; neither garden is now visible. A midden hollow (YARROWS04 348) that lies immediately S of the range containing the cottage measures about 12m in diameter and up to 1m in depth on the N.
(YARROWS04 348, 763, 764)
Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 26 August 2004

Visited 07/11/2008. As described by previous authorities. The northern-most building has surviving wooden lintels over the doorways in the east and west walls; all other apertures have stone lintels. The window in the west wall is set into a bay. The southern building is broadly as described above by the RCAHMS (2004) - in the west gable wall the fireplace contains a decorative cast iron surround. Evidence of the original turf and thatch roof survives in the outshot. Contrary to the RCAHMS 2004 description (above) the garden enclosure depicted on the 2nd edition OS is visible to the south of the range, with the entrance set into the west wall. The original access track to the farmstead can still be seen heading up the hill from the south-east of Heatherbrae on a NE-SW alignment. It is visible on aerial photograph Sortie 106G/UK/0076 (1946), Photo No 3282 <1>. Both buildings, access and enclosure photographed <2>.

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred ND 3183 4057 (24m by 50m) (3 map features)
Map sheet ND34SW
Civil Parish WICK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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