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Watten

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"WATTEN, a parish in the county of Caithness, Scotland. It is nearly circular in form, and about 84 miles in diameter. The surface is undulating but low, being in some parts little more than 20 feet above sea-level. The soil is rich and productive, with the exception of that of the moors, which are of considerable extent. In the northern part of the parish is Loch Watten, extending 3 miles from W. to E., with a breadth of from 3 to 10 furlongs; it abounds in eels and trout, and is much frequented by wild ducks and sea fowl. The southern part of the parish is watered by Loch Toftingall. The confluent streams from the above-mentioned lakes form the river Wick, which flows 4 miles eastward towards the boundary. The predominant rocks are flagstone, limestone, and trap. The village of Watten is about 9 miles N.W. of Wick. The parish is traversed through its central districts by the S. road from Thurso to Wick, and across its S.W. extremity by the road from Thurso to Dornoch. This parish is in the presbytery of Caithness and synod of Sutherland and Caithness. The stipend of the minister is about £222. There are a Free church parochial school, parochial library, and two other schools, also a mission church for the Halsary district. The principal seat is Heath House. A fair is held on the first Tuesday in December, old style."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

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Churches

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Watten, Church of Scotland
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Gazetteers

1851 - Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

WATTEN, a parish, in the county of Caithness, 10 miles (W. N. W.) from Wick; containing 1266 inhabitants. This place originally formed part of the parish of Bower, from which it was separated about the year 1638. It is situated nearly in the centre of the county, and is supposed to have derived its name, in the Danish language signifying " water ", from its extensive lakes. The only events of any importance connected with the parish are, the various incursions of the Danes, and the frequent hostilities between rival clans in its vicinity; and even of these, the memorials rest rather on tradition than on any well-authenticated records. The PARISH is nearly ten miles in extreme length and seven miles in mean breadth, comprising an area of about 38,400 acres. Of this extent, about 5500 acres are arable and under cultivation, and the remainder, of which probably 5000 acres might be reclaimed and rendered profitable, consists of moorland pasture, moss, and waste. The surface is generally undulated, without attaining any considerable degree of elevation; and is intersected, especially in the southern portion, with numerous narrow glens, along which flow various small streams that have their sources in the moorlands. The river Wick has its commencement in the confluence of two rivulets issuing from the lakes, and which in their progress receive several tributary streams: on their union, nearly in the centre of the parish, the river thus formed flows eastward, and falls into the bay of Wick. Loch Watten, near the northern boundary of the parish, is a beautiful sheet of water, about three miles in length, nearly two miles in breadth, and about ten feet in average depth; and is surrounded on all sides by gently rising grounds in a state of rich cultivation.

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Watten has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ND219507 (Lat/Lon: 58.437332, -3.338548), Watten which are provided by:

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Societies

  • The Caithness Family History Society covers this county.
  • The Highland Family History Society covers this county.
  • The Highland Family History Society is based at the Highland Archive and Registration Centre at Bught Park, Inverness.