MHG51245 - Covered Tail Race, Castlehill Pavement works


A substantial covered tail race associated with the pavement works and servicing the cutting yard. Of similar construction, a drain and second tail race servicing the water powered thresing barn are located to the east.

Type and Period (1)

  • TAIL RACE (19th Century to First World War - 1824 AD to 1914 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

3 substantial covered drains to the N of the pavement works and down the beach. They appear to be outlets linked to the water driven cutting works building marked on the 1st ed OS and powered by a large pond to the S. The pond was out of use by the 2nd ed OS but the buildings were still there. These structures are not marked on the maps but are of considerable interest.
The drains are substantial stone built structures with Caithness slabs laid on edge. Part of the roofs are still in place in others collapsed and infilled with stone rubble <1>.

The record above is now split into three separate records; one for each outlet. This record refers to the tail race which would have taken water from the waterwheel pit; the water from the pond was used to drive the waterwheel (which would have driven the saws and cutting machinery) and the tail race would have taken the water from the water wheel pit and discharged it into the sea. The visible above ground section of the tail race (at low tide) runs for 44 metres. The remains of a metal gate survive at the end of the tail race. The roof slabs are missing in a few places and have collapsed near to the terminus of the race. The tail race is by far the most substantial of the similarly constructed outlets, the other two lie to the east <2>.

At the SW end, by the waterwheel pit, [the tail race] is about 0.7m wide and 1.5m high. At the north-east end it is about 0.8m wide and 0.4m high <3>.

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 19620 68711 (30m by 33m) (2 map features)
Map sheet ND16NE
Civil Parish OLRIG
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

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