Latheron, Caithness

"LATHERON, a parish at the southern extremity of the county Caithness, Scotland. It contains the post-office stations and villages of Berriedale, Lybster, Latheron, Dalbeath, and Swiney. It extends 27 miles N. from the Burn of the Ord, along the seacoast, and measures from 15 to 16 miles in breadth. The surface is a succession of hill and valley, and the boundary line with the county of Sutherland is very mountainous. Tho principal mountains are Morven, Scarabine, and Maidenpass, the former being 1,221 feet above sea-level. The greater portion of the parish is pastoral, or waste, and about 9,000 imperial acres under tillage. The principal rivers are Dunbeath, Langwell, and Berriedale. The coast is bold and rocky, but indented with several inlets, which serve as harbours for fishing-vessels. There are several caves (some from 300 to 400 feet long) by the sea-side, in which a great number of seals are killed. Many of the inhabitants are employed in fishing on the coast, where herrings, cod, salmon, turbot, and lobsters, are taken. The parish is in the presbytery of Caithness, and synod of Sutherland and Caithness. The minister's stipend is 253. The parish church, erected in 1734, and enlarged in 1822, is a commodious structure. At Berriedale is a government church, together with a Free church. There are Free churches respectively at Bruan, Latheron, and Lybster, and at the last-named place there is also a chapel-of-ease. There are about eighteen non-parochial schools. In the neighbourhood is a Druid circle and fort. Along the cliffs from Ord to Clyth are several castles (chiefly in ruins), viz: Dunbeath, Berriedale, Latheron, Forsa, Swiney, &c., the first-mentioned being still inhabited."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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