MHG51358 - Cottage at Achlibster


A cottage with internal walls constructed of Caithness flag.

Type and Period (1)

  • HOUSE (19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1900 AD?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Photographs of this derelict cottage were sent in by an officer from the Forestry Commission. Of particular interest are the internal walls, which appear to be constructed of huge slabs of Caithness flagstone. The photographs also record the old kitchen range and a dedication plaque inscribed with the verse "The Little White Rose" by Hugh Macdiarmid. The plaque reads as follows:
"The Rose of all the world is not for me
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet and breaks the heart.
Hugh Macdiarmid
In memory of Hamish Carmichael 17.8(?).59 - 13.4.89 " <1>

The grid reference recorded on file was ND 1165 5223, however the appearance of the cottage as a detached building surrounded by open land is more consistent with a building named "Achlibster Cottage" which lies to the south-west. This has yet to be checked on the ground so both possible locations have been mapped. <2>

This site was visited during a 2012 DBA and walkover survey by RoCAS on behalf of the Forestry Commission Scotland. It was described as a ruinous farmstead cottage built of Caithness slab with a stone slabbed roof. It measured 12m east to west by 5m externally and stood to roof height. The roof was partially collapsed. Internal partitions were comprised of large thin Caithness slabs that had been plastered over. To the southwest were three set Caithness slabs that measured 1.5m long by 0.5m. Their function was unknown. <3>
Note: The 2012 RoCAS report erroneously labels this site as MHG1358, which is in fact the nearby chapel. S Salem 04/10/2013

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred ND 11459 52130 (382m by 198m) (4 map features)
Map sheet ND15SW
Civil Parish HALKIRK
Geographical Area CAITHNESS

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