Caithness (Scottish Gaelic: Gallaibh [ˈkal̪ˠɪv], Scots:
Caitnes; Old Norse: Katanes) is a historic county, registration
county and lieutenancy area of Scotland.
Caithness has a land boundary with the historic county of Sutherland
and is otherwise bounded by sea. The land boundary follows a watershed
and is crossed by two roads, the A9 and the A836, and one railway, the
Far North Line. Across the
Pentland Firth ferries link
Caithness also has an airport at Wick. The Pentland Firth
island of Stroma is within Caithness.
The name was also used for the earldom of
Caithness and the Caithness
constituency of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom (1708 to 1918).
Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the
is now entirely within the Highland council area.
Caithness is one of the Watsonian vice-counties, subdivisions of
Ireland which are used largely for the purposes of
biological recording and other scientific data-gathering. The
vice-counties were introduced by
Hewett Cottrell Watson
Hewett Cottrell Watson who first used
them in the third volume of his Cybele Britannica published in 1852.
He refined the system somewhat in later volumes, but the vice-counties
remain unchanged by subsequent local government reorganisations,
allowing historical and modern data to be more accurately compared.
They provide a stable basis for recording using similarly-sized units,
and, although grid-based reporting has grown in popularity, they
remain a standard in the vast majority of ecological surveys, allowing
data collected over long periods of time to be compared easily.
3 Early history
4 Early civic history
5 Local Government
5.2 1996 to 2007
5.3 2007 to date
6 Parliamentary constituency
8 Towns and villages
9 Community councils, 1975 to 2008
11 Natural heritage
12 Local media
13 See also
15 External links
The Caith element of
Caithness comes from the name of a Pictish tribe
known as the Cat or Catt people, or Catti (see Kingdom of Cat). The
-ness element comes from Old Norse and means "headland". The Norse
called the area Katanes ("headland of the Catt people"), and over time
this became Caithness.
The Gaelic name for Caithness, Gallaibh, means "among the strangers"
(the Norse). The Catti are represented in the Gaelic name for eastern
Sutherland, Cataibh, and the old Gaelic name for Shetland, Innse
Caithness extends about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north-south and about
30 miles (50 km) east-west, with an area of about 712 square
miles (1844 km²). The topography is flat, in contrast to the
majority of the remainder of the North of Scotland. Until the latter
part of the 20th century when large areas were planted in conifers,
this level profile was rendered still more striking by the almost
total absence of forest.
Caithness landscape, looking towards
Halkirk from Beinn Freiceadain
The underlying geology of most of
Caithness is old red sandstone to an
estimated depth of over 4,000 metres. This consists of the cemented
sediments of Lake Orcadie, which is believed to have stretched from
Grampian during the
Devonian period, about 370 million
years ago. Fossilised fish and plant remains are found between the
layers of sediment. Older metamorphic (granite) rock is apparent in
the Scaraben and Ord area, in the relatively high southwest area of
the county. Caithness' highest point (Morven) is in this area.
Because of the ease with which the sandstone splits to form large flat
slabs (flagstone) it is an especially useful building material, and
has been used as such since
Caithness is a land of open, rolling farmland, moorland and scattered
settlements. The area is fringed to the north and east by dramatic
coastal scenery and is home to large, internationally important
colonies of seabirds. The surrounding waters of the
Pentland Firth and
North Sea hold a great diversity of marine life. Away from the
coast, the landscape is dominated by open moorland and blanket bog
known as the
Flow Country which is the largest expanse of blanket bog
in Europe, extending into Sutherland. This is divided up along the
straths (river valleys) by more fertile farm and croft land.
Caithness landscape is rich with the remains of pre-historic
occupation. These include the Grey Cairns of Camster, the Stone Lud,
the Hill O Many Stanes, a complex of sites around Loch Yarrows and
over 100 brochs. A prehistoric souterrain structure at
been likened to discoveries at
Midgarth and on Shapinsay. Numerous
coastal castles (now mostly ruins) are Norwegian (West Norse) in their
foundations. When the Norsemen arrived, probably in the 10th
century, the county was inhabited by the Picts, but with its
culture subject to some
Goidelic influence from the Celtic Church. The
Pentland Firth can be read as meaning Pictland Fjord.
Numerous bands of Norse settlers landed in the county, and gradually
established themselves around the coast. On the
Latheron (south) side,
they extended their settlements as far as Berriedale. Many of the
names of places are Norse in origin. In addition, some Caithness
surnames, such as Gunn, are Norse in origin.
For a long time sovereignty over
Caithness was disputed between
Scotland and the Norwegian Earldom of Orkney. Circa 1196, Earl Harald
Maddadsson agreed to pay a monetary tribute for
Caithness to William
Norway has recognised
Caithness as fully Scottish since the Treaty
of Perth in 1266.
The understanding of
Caithness prehistory is well represented in the
county, by groups including Yarrows Heritage Trust, Caithness
Early civic history
Caithness originally formed part of the shire or sheriffdom of
Inverness, but gradually gained independence: in 1455 the Earl of
Caithness gained a grant of the justiciary and sheriffdom of the area
from the Sheriff of Inverness. In 1503 an act of the Parliament of
Scotland confirmed the separate jurisdiction, with
Dornoch and Wick
named as burghs in which the sheriff of
Caithness was to hold courts.
The area of the sheriffdom was declared to be identical to that of the
Diocese of Caithness. The Sheriff of Inverness still retained power
over important legal cases, however, until 1641. In that year,
parliament declared Wick the head burgh of the shire of
Earl of Caithness
Earl of Caithness became the heritable sheriff. Following the
Act of Union of 1707, the term "county" began to be applied to the
shire, a process that was completed with the abolition of heritable
jurisdictions in 1747. The county began to be known as
The county began to be used as a unit of local administration, and in
1890 was given an elected county council under the Local Government
(Scotland) Act 1889. Although officially within the county, the burghs
of Wick and
Thurso retained their status as autonomous local
government areas. At that time, two towns Wick and Thurso, were
already well established as autonomous burghs with their own burgh
councils. Ten parish councils covering rural areas were established in
Wick, a royal burgh, served as the county's administrative centre.
In 1930, the parish councils were abolished under the Local Government
(Scotland) Act 1929.
In 1975, the Local Government council and the burgh councils were
superseded under the
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 when
Caithness became one of eight districts, each with its own "district
council", within the new two-tier Highland region. When created, the
district included the whole of the county plus Tongue and Farr areas
of the neighbouring county of Sutherland. The boundary was soon
changed, however, to correspond with that between the counties.
Caithness was one of eight districts in the Highland region.
Highland region was also created in 1975, as one of nine two-tier
local government regions of Scotland. Each region consisted of a
number of districts and both regions and districts had their own
elected councils. The creation of the Highland region and of Caithness
as a district involved the abolition of the two burgh councils in
Caithness, Wick and Thurso, as well as the
Caithness county council.
Wick, which had been the administrative centre for the county, became
the administrative centre for the district.
In 1996 local government in
Scotland was again reformed, under the
Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, to create 32 unitary council
areas. The Highland region became the Highland unitary council area,
and the functions of the district councils were absorbed by the
1996 to 2007
Highland council area
Highland council area 1996 to present
Caithness and the other seven districts of the Highland
region were merged into the unitary Highland council area, under the
Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994. The new Highland Council
then adopted the former districts as management areas and created a
system of area committees to represent the management areas.
Until 1999 the
Caithness management and committee areas consisted of 8
out of the 72
Highland Council wards. Each ward elected one councillor
by the first past the post system of election.
In 1999, however, ward boundaries were redrawn but management area
boundaries were not. As a result, area committees were named after and
made decisions for areas which they did not exactly represent. The new
Caithness committee area, consisting of ten out of the 80 new Highland
Council wards, did not include the village of Reay, although that
village was within the
Caithness management area. For area committee
representation the village was within the
Sutherland committee area.
New wards were created for elections this year, 2007, polling on 3 May
and, as the wards became effective for representational purposes, the
Highland Council's management and committee structures were
Caithness management area and the
committee were therefore abolished.
2007 to date
In 2007 the Highland Council, which is now the local government
authority, created the
Caithness ward management area, which has
boundaries similar to those of the historic county. It was divided
between three new wards electing councillors by the single
transferable vote system of election, which is designed to produce a
form of proportional representation. One ward elects four councillors.
Each of the other two elects three councillors. Also, the council's
eight management areas were abolished, in favour of three new
corporate management areas, with
Caithness becoming a ward management
area within the council's new Caithness,
Sutherland and Easter Ross
operational management area, which covers seven of the council's 22
new wards. The boundaries of the
Caithness ward management area are
not exactly those of the former
Caithness management area, but they do
include the village of Reay.
The ward management area is one of five within the corporate
management area and until 2017 consisted of three wards, the Landward
Caithness ward, the
Thurso ward and the Wick ward. Each of the other
ward management areas within the corporate management area consists of
a single ward. In 2017 the three
Caithness wards were reduced to two
'Town and County' wards, each returning four members to the Highland
Council, this was a reduction of two Councillors from the last
election in 2012. The new wards are
Thurso and Northwest Caithness
and Wick and East Caithness.
Since May 4th 2017
Caithness has been represented by four Independent
Councillors, two Scottish Conservative Councillors and two Scottish
National Party Councillors. The current Chairman of the Caithness
Committee is Donnie Mackay (Independent) and the Civic Leader position
is held by A.I Willie Mackay (Independent) both being installed on the
16th of June 2017 at the first
Caithness Committee of the new
Caithness constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament
Great Britain (1708 to 1801) and the Parliament of the United
Kingdom (1801 to 1918) represented essentially the county from 1708 to
1918. At the same time however, the county town of Wick was
represented as a component of Tain Burghs until 1832 and of Wick
Burghs until 1918.
Between 1708 and 1832 the
Caithness constituency was paired with
Buteshire as alternating constituencies: one constituency elected a
Member of Parliament (MP) to one parliament and then the other elected
an MP to the next. Between 1832 and 1918
Caithness elected an MP to
In 1918 the
Caithness constituency and Wick were merged into the then
new constituency of
Caithness and Sutherland. In 1997
Sutherland was merged into Caithness,
Sutherland and Easter Ross.
Scottish Parliament constituency of Caithness,
Ross was created in 1999 and now has boundaries slightly
different from those of the House of Commons constituency. It was
replaced by the larger constituency of Caithness,
Sutherland and Ross
The modern constituencies may be seen as more sub-divisions of the
Highland area than as representative of counties (and burghs). For its
own purposes, however, the
Highland Council uses more conservative
sub-divisions, with names which refer back to the era of district
councils and, in some cases, county councils.
Caithness is represented also as part of
the Highlands and Islands electoral region.
Parish map c. 1854
Prior to implementation of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889,
civil administration parishes were also parishes of the Church of
Scotland, and one
Caithness parish, Reay, straddled the boundary
between the county of
Caithness and the county of Sutherland, and
Thurso had a separate fragment bounded by
Reay and Halkirk.
For civil administration purposes, implementation of the act redefined
parish boundaries, transferring part of
Reay to the
of Farr and the fragment of
Thurso to the parish of Halkirk.
In the cases of two of the parishes,
Thurso and Wick, each includes a
burgh with the same name as the parish. For civil administration
purposes each of these parishes was divided between the burgh and the
landward (rural) area of the parish.
Civil parishes are still used for some statistical purposes, and
separate census figures are published for them. As their areas have
been largely unchanged since the 19th century this allows for
comparison of population figures over an extended period of time.
Stone Lud near its geographic centre
Includes the village of John O Groats
Includes the village of
Includes the village of Halkirk
Includes the village of Latheron
Includes the village of Castletown
Includes the village of Reay
Was, at one time, partly in the county of Sutherland
A rural area around the burgh of Thurso
Includes the village of Watten
10 Wick Landward
A rural area around the burgh of Wick
Towns and villages
Caithness had a resident population of 23,866 and settlement
centres include those of :
Castletown (Drill Hall): ND192680
Morven (the highest point of Caithness): ND005285
John o' Groats: ND380734
Thurso (Town Hall): ND118685
Wick (High Street): ND363510
Community councils, 1975 to 2008
Although created under local government legislation (the Local
Government (Scotland) Act 1973) community councils have no statutory
powers or responsibilities and are not a tier of local government.
They are however the most local tier of statutory representation.
Under the 1973 Act, district councils were obliged to implement
community council schemes. A
Caithness district scheme was adopted in
1975, dividing the area of the district between 12 community councils.
Statutory status for community councils was continued under the Local
Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, and a
Caithness scheme is now the
responsibility of the Highland Council.
The area of the former district of
Caithness is now covered by 12
community council areas which are numbered and described as below in
the Highland Council's Scheme for the Establishment of Community
Councils in Caithness, October 1997. Current community council names
and contact details are given on a
Highland Council website.
Burgh of Wick
2. Sinclair's Bay (including Keiss, Reiss and part of Wick)
Dunnet and Canisbay
4. Bower (excluding Gelshfield area)
5. Watten (including part of Bower i.e. Gelshfield area)
6. Wick south-east, Wick south-west and part of
Clyth (i.e. Bruan)
(Tannach & District)
7. Latheron, Lybster and remainder of
Clyth (including Occumster,
Roster and Camster)
8. Berridale and Dunbeath
Halkirk north-west (excluding
Lieurary, Forsie and Westfield area)
14. Castletown, Olrig,
Thurso east (excluding area on west side of
Caithness West (that part on the west side of
Reay and part of
Halkirk north-west (that part comprising
Lieurary, Forsie and Westfield area)
At the beginning of recorded history,
Caithness was inhabited by the
Picts, whose language Pictish is thought to have been related to the
Brythonic languages spoken by the Britons to the south. The Norn
language was introduced to Caithness, Orkney, and
Shetland by the
Norse occupation, which is generally proposed to be c. AD 800.
Although little is known of that Norn dialect, some of this linguistic
influence still exists in parts of the county, particularly in place
names. Norn continued to be spoken in
Caithness until perhaps the
fifteenth century and lingered until the late 18th century in the
It is sometimes erroneously claimed that Gaelic has never been spoken
in Caithness, but this is a result of language shift to
Scots, and then towards Standard Scottish
English during recent centuries. The Gaelic name for the region,
Gallaibh, translates as "Land of the Gall (non-Gaels)", a name which
reflects historic Norse rule. Gaelic speakers seem to first figure in
the early stage of the Scandinavian colonisation of Caithness,
gradually increasing in numerical significance from the 12th century
onwards. Gaelic has survived, in a limited form, in western parts
of the county.
Scots, often referred to as English, began supplanting Norn in the
early 14th century at the time of the Wars of Scottish
Independence. The emergent Northern Scots dialect became
influenced by both Gaelic and Norn and is generally spoken in the
lowlying land to the east of a line drawn from
Clyth Ness to some 4
miles (6 km) west of Thurso. The dialect of Scots spoken in
the neighbourhood of
John o' Groats
John o' Groats resembles to some extent that of
Orkney. Since the 17th century, Standard
Scottish English has
increasingly been replacing both Gaelic and Scots.
Records showing what languages were spoken apparently do not exist
from before 1706, but by that time, "[I]f ye suppose a Parallel to the
hypotenuse drawn from Week to Thurso, these on the Eastside of it
speak most part English, and those on the Westside Irish; and the last
have Ministers to preach to them in both languages." Similarly, it is
stated at that time that there were "Seven parishes [out of 10 or 11]
in [the Presbytery of]
Caithness where the Irish language is
As previously indicated, the language mix or boundary changed over
time, but the New Statistical Record in 1841 says: "On the eastern
side of [the Burn of East Clyth] scarcely a word of Gaelic was either
spoken or understood, and on the west side, English suffered the same
fate". Other sources state:
"There are Seven parishes in [the Presbytery of]
Caithness where the
Irish language is used, viz. Thurso, Halkrig [Halkirk], Rhae [Reay],
Lathrone [Latheron], Ffar [Farr], Week [Wick], Duirness [Durness]. But
the people of Week understand English also." (Presbytery of Caithness,
"A presbytery minute of 1727 says of 1,600 people who had 'come of
age', 1500 could speak Gaelic only, and a mere five could read. Gaelic
at this time was the principal language in most parishes except Bower,
Dunnet and Olrig".
"Persons with a knowledge of Gaelic in the County of
1911) are found to number 1,685, and to constitute 6.7 per cent of the
entire population of three years of age and upwards. Of these 1,248
were born in Caithness, 273 in Sutherland, 77 in
Ross & Cromarty,
and 87 elsewhere.... By an examination of the age distribution of the
Gaelic speakers, it is found that only 22 of them are less than 20
years of age."
According to the 2011
Scotland Census, 282 (1.1%) residents of
Caithness age three and over can speak Gaelic while 466 (1.8%) have
some facility with the language. The percentage figures are almost
exactly the same as for all of
Scotland (1.1% and 1.7%,
respectively). Nearly half of all Gaelic speakers in the county
Thurso civil parish. The town of
Thurso hosts the only Gaelic
Medium Primary School unit in all of
Caithness (see Language in
The bilingual road sign policy of Highland Region Council has led to
some controversy in the region. In 2008, eight of the ten Caithness
representatives to the
Highland Council tried to prevent the
introduction of bilingual English-Gaelic road signs into the
county. The first bilingual sign in
Caithness was erected in
2012. In 2013, a bilingual road sign on the A99 road next to Wick
Airport was damaged by gunfire within 24 hours of it being placed.
Gaelic-speaking Councillor Alex MacLeod, at the time representing
Caithness in the Highland Council, referred to it as “an
extreme anti-Gaelic incident”.
St John's Loch near
Dunnet Head has the distinction of supporting the
most northerly hatch of
Mayfly in the British Isle.
The underlying geology, harsh climate, and long history of human
occupation have shaped this rich and distinctive natural heritage.
Today a diverse landscape incorporates both common and rare habitats
and species, and
Caithness provides a stronghold for many once common
breeding species that have undergone serious declines elsewhere, such
as waders, water voles, and flocks of over-wintering birds.
Many rare mammals, birds, and fish have been sighted or caught in and
Caithness waters. Harbour porpoises, dolphins (including
Risso's, bottle-nosed, common, Atlantic white-sided, and white-beaked
dolphins), and minke and long-finned pilot whales are regularly
seen from the shore and boats. Both grey and common seals come close
to the shore to feed, rest, and raise their pups; a significant
population over-winters on small islands in the
Thurso river only a
short walk from the town centre. Otters can be seen close to river
mouths in some of the quieter locations.
The John O'Groat Journal and
The Caithness Courier are weekly
newspapers published by Scottish Provincial Press Limited trading
as North of
Scotland Newspapers and using offices in Union Street,
Wick (but with public reception via Cliff Road) and
News coverage tends to concentrate on the former counties of Caithness
The John O'Groat Journal is normally published on
The Caithness Courier on Wednesdays. The two papers share
Historically, they have been independent newspapers, with the Groat as
a Wick-centred paper and the Courier as a Thurso-centred paper. Even
now, the Groat is archived in the public library in Wick, while the
Courier is similarly archived in the library in Thurso. The Courier
was printed, almost by hand, in a small shop in High Street, Thurso
until the early 60's by Mr Docherty and his daughter. The Courier
traditionally covers that week's sheriff court cases.
Caithness FM has been broadcasting since 1993 and the Orkney
Commercial Radio, Superstation
Orkney from Kirkwall since 2004.
Caithness (UK Parliament constituency)
Caithness (UK Parliament constituency) (1708 to 1918)
Tain Burghs (UK Parliament constituency) (1708 to 1832)
Wick Burghs (UK Parliament constituency)
Wick Burghs (UK Parliament constituency) (1832 to 1918)
Sutherland (UK Parliament constituency) (1918 to 1997)
Sutherland and Easter
Ross (UK Parliament constituency)
(1997 to present)
Sutherland and Easter
Ross (Scottish Parliament
constituency) (1999 to 2011)
Scottish Parliament constituency)
(2011 to present)
Counties of Scotland
List of counties of
Local government in Scotland
Local government areas of
Scotland 1973 to 1996
Maiden Paps, Caithness
Medieval Diocese of Caithness
Subdivisions of Scotland
^ "Index: C". British History Online. Institute of Historical Research
and the History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
^ a b c Gaelic and Norse in the Landscape: Placenames in
Sutherland. Scottish National Heritage. pp.7–8
^ C.Michael Hogan, Castle bloody, The Megalithic Portal, ed. A.
^ Scholarly essays in J.R. Baldwion and I.D. Whyte, eds. The Viking
Age in Caithness,
Orkney and the North Atlantic (Edinburgh University
Press) 1993, give an overview.
^ "Priests and Picts".
Caithness Archaeology. Retrieved 7 August
^ Logan, F. Donald (2005). The Vikings in History (3rd ed.). New York:
Routledge. p. 28. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
^ MacBain, Alexander (1922). Place Names Highlands and Islands of
Scotland. Stirling: Mackay. p. 21. ISBN 978-1179979427.
Retrieved 7 August 2016.
^ "Yarrows Heritage Trust - Home". www.yarrowsheritagetrust.co.uk.
Retrieved 16 March 2018.
Caithness Horizons Museum".
^ Campbell, H F (1920).
Caithness & Sutherland. Cambridge County
Geographies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
^ Whetstone, Ann E. "The Reform of the Scottish Sheriffdoms in the
Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries". Albion: A Quarterly
Journal Concerned with British Studies. The North American Conference
on British Studies. 9 (1): 61–71. JSTOR 4048219.
^ Whatley, Christopher A (2000). Scottish Society 1707–1820.
Manchester University Press. p. 147.
^ Butlin, Heather. "Council wards". www.highland.gov.uk.
^ Butlin, Heather. "Council ward information". highland.gov.uk.
^ Butlin, Heather. "Council ward information". highland.gov.uk.
^ Tarrant, Sylvia. "
Caithness Committee Chair and Civic Leader
^ Boundary changes as described in Boundaries of Counties and Parishes
in Scotland, Hay Shennan, 1892
^ "Community 03 March 2008, accessed 3 March 2008" (PDF). Highland
^ The Viking age in Caithness,
Orkney and the North Atlantic,
Edinburgh University Press ISBN 0-7486-0430-8, page 121
^ Jones, Charles (1997). The Edinburgh history of the Scots language.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 394.
^ Jamieson, J. (1808), An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish
^ The New Statistical Account of
Scotland (1845) Vol. XV
^ Transactions of the Hawick Archaeological Society (1863)
^ Murray, James A. H. (1873) The Dialect of the Southern Counties of
Scotland, Transactions of the Philological Society, Part II,
1870–72. London-Berlin, Asher & Co.
^ Grant, William; Dixon, James Main (1921) Manual of Modern Scots.
Cambridge, University Press.
Scottish National Dictionary (1929–1976) vol. I
^ a b http://www.linguae-celticae.org/dateien/Gaelic_1901-2001.ppt
^ The Viking age in Caithness,
Orkney and the North Atlantic,
Edinburgh University Press ISBN 0-7486-0430-8, page 125
^ Mairi Robinson (editor-in-chief), The Concise Scots Dictionary,
Aberdeen University Press, 1985 p.x
^ McColl Millar. 2007. Northern and Insular Scots. Edinburgh:
University Press Ltd. p. 191
^ "SND Introduction".
^ a b
Caithness of the Gael and the Lowlander Archived 8 September
2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Omand, D. From the Vikings to the Forty-Five, in The
^ J. Patten MacDougall, Registrar General, 1912
Scotland Census, Table QS211SC.
^ "Bid to exclude Gaelic signs fails", BBC News, 6 March 2008.
^ Gordon Calder, "New bilingual sign sparks fresh wrangle," John
O'Groat Journal, 10 August 2012.
^ Alisdair Munro, "‘Anti-Gaelic gunmen’ shoot road sign in
Caithness", The Scotsman, 5 September 2013.
^ ALISTAIRMUNRO. 2017. VIDEO: Amazing footage of pilot whales and
Risso’s dolphins off the coast of Caithness. The Press and Journal.
September 30, 2017
^ "Scottish Provincial Press Limited website".
^ "Services North – Search for local businesses in the North of
Caithness Courier. [dead link]
^ "John O'Groat Journal - Home". www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caithness.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Caithness Community Website
Caithness Dialect at Scots Language Centre
Caithness Arts website
Castletown and District Community Council website
Castletown Heritage Society
Canisbay Community Council
Castle of Mey website
Castle Sinclair Girnigoe
Caithness alternative community forum
Traditional provinces and districts of Scotland
Major districts (former counties, provincial lordships and rural
Clydesdale (or Strathclyde)
Ross (Easter and Wester)
The Black Isle
Howe of Fife
Howe of the Mearns
Muir of Ord
Rhinns of Kells
Strath of Kildonan
For smaller islands, usually districts in their own right, see List of
Islands of the Clyde
Rinns of Islay
Ross of Mull
Harris (North Harris, South Harris)
Lewis (The Lochs, West Side, Point, Back)
Hoy and Walls
Mainland (Central Mainland, North Mainland, South Mainland, West
Former local government counties of Scotland
Subdivisions created by the
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 and
abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973
Ross and Cromarty
Subdivisions abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889
Districts of the Highland region
Badenoch and Strathspey
Ross and Cromarty
Skye and Lochalsh
Coordinates: 58°25′N 3°30′W / 58.417°N 3.500°W /