KILDONAN - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
"KILDONAN, a parish in county Sutherland, Scotland, containing the post village of Helmsdale. It is about 25 miles long, and its extreme breadth is 16. The parish is bounded by the county of Caithness, the ocean, and the parishes of Clyne, Loth, Farr, and Reay. The surface is generally mountainous. The best arable land is found in the Strath of Kildonan and the valley of the river Helmsdale. Several small lakes, abounding with fish, and numerous burns, diversify the interior. The latter give name to the straths Iligh, Frigh, Tilney, and Beg. This parish is in the presbytery of Dornoch, and synod of Sutherland and Caithness. The minister has a stipend of £158. The church has been lately built at Helmsdale, where there is also a Free church. In the village are three public schools, besides several schools about the parish. The district is subject to destructive floods. There are several Pictish forts, tumuli, and cairns at Suinalhugh. At this last named spot the Danish in-' vaders Suenus and Aulver Roster fought in the 12th century. Sheep breeding is extensively carried on, and game is abundant."
"HELMSDALE, a post village and subport in the parish of Kildonan, county Sutherland, Scotland, 20 miles N.E. of Dornoch, and 246 from Edinburgh. It is situated at the mouth of the river Helmsdale or Avoniligh, and on the road from Inverness to Wick, to which latter town it is a subport. The village was founded by the Sutherlands, and peopled by the country folk of the interior, who were compelled to make way for the great extension of sheepwalks. Here is a Free church, two schools, branch bank, and an office of the fishery, Helmsdale being a very considerable fishing station, principally in salmon and herring."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]