MHG39787 - Harold's Tower Mausoleum, Thurso
Late C18 mausoleum erected by Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster and Thurso.
Type and Period (1)
- MAUSOLEUM (Built, 18th Century - 1790 AD to 1798 AD (circa))
The chapel at Thurso East is apparently the chapel that is mentioned in 'Orkneyinga Saga' (1780) and 'Torfaeus' and existing when the former was written.
Orig Paroch Scot 1855.
There was a chapel at the Hill of Clairdon on the site of which Harold's Tower was built by Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster before 1780 to mark spot where Earl Harold (the younger) is supposed to have been killed and buried at the Battle of Clardon Hill in 1196 (ND16NW 14). The enclosure is called 'Kirkua' from the temple built over Earl Harold's grave and vestiges of the chapel were visible until George Sinclair of Ulbster (father of Sir John) enclosed the ground (Torfaeus 1886).
D Beaton 1909; W Campbell 1902; T Torfaeus 1886.
No trace of chapel exists at this site. The mausoleum has a plaque on SW side bearing the words: 'The burial place of the Sinclairs of Ulbster'.
Visited by OS (E G C) 18 April 1962.
Harold's Tower (NAT) Mausoleum (NAT) OS 6" map, (1971)
Generally as described by previous investigator, but steps to it have been removed, the burial vault has been broken into and the coffins are displaced. The mausoleum is within an embanked enclosure, 35m across, presumably that built by Sir George Sinclair. There is no trace of a chapel.
Revised at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J M) 1 October 1981.
Large circular enclosure marked around the building on both 1st & 2nd ed OS "Harold's Tower- Mausoleum (Sinclair of Ulbster Family)" HAW 1/2004
NB see ND16NW0014 for battle site - HAW 1/2004
A large metal door has been placed over the mausoleum entrance. Otherwise as previously described. <1>.
- --- SHG1654 Text/Publication/Article: Myatt, L J. 1975. 'The early ecclesiastical remains of Halkirk Parish', Caithness Fld Club Bulletin Vol. 1 April 1975, p.55-61. Caithness Fld Club Bulletin. 55-61. 105, 107.
- --- SHG1965 Text/Publication/Volume: Beaton, D. 1909. Ecclesiastical history of Caithness and annals of Caithness parishes. 43-4.
- --- SHG2024 Text/Publication/Volume: Campbell, W. 1902. Thors town and John o' Groats. 34.
- --- SHG2889 Text/Publication/Volume: Torfaeus, T. 1866. Ancient history of Orkney, Caithness, etc..
- --- SHG3470 Text/Publication/Volume: Watson, G.. 1991. Caithness Chapel Sites.
- --- SHG388 Text/Publication/Article: Watson, G. 1977. 'Caithness monuments, 1. Harold's Tower', Caithness Fld Club Bulletin Vol. 2 April 1977, p.48. Caithness Fld Club Bulletin. 48. 48.
- <1> SHG23286 Verbal Communication: Puls, A. Comment by Andrew Puls, HC Archaeologist.
|Grid reference||Centred ND 1354 6923 (12m by 11m)|
Related Monuments/Buildings (1)
Related Investigations/Events (0)
External Links (2)
- http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/LB14919 (Online designation description (Historic Environment Scotland))
- https://canmore.org.uk/site/8433 (View RCAHMS Canmore entry for this site)
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