"CLYNE, a parish in the county of Sutherland, Scotland. It is 24 miles long with a breadth of 4 to 8 miles. The northern part is lofty and mountainous, and presents very attractive features. Not more than a sixtieth part of the surface is arable, the remainder being devoted to sheep-pasture. The Duke of Sutherland is the sole landowner, and most of the inhabitants on the coast are fishermen. Freestone and limestone are abundant. Craigbar, a fortified hill on the S. side of Loch Brora, is supposed to be of Pictish origin, as is also Cole's Castle, a remarkable fortification on a rocky island in the Blackwater of Strathbeg, near the junction of that river with the Brora. It is circular in form, with an external circumference of 54 yards, and has a diameter of 18 yards, it is built of large stones, well joined together without cement. This parish is in the presbytery of Domoch, and in the patronage of the Duke of Sutherland. The minister's stipend is £145. There are also a Free church and three non-parochial schools."

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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Clyne, Church of Scotland

Church Directories

  • Clyne Parish Church
  • Clyne Free Church
  • Christ the King - Catholic
  • St Columba - Scottish Episcopalian

Church History

The present  Parish Church on Victoria Road opened in 1907. At this time the village of Brora was growing and the existing church at Clynekirkton was some distance away. 

The church at Clynekirkton was built c1775 and greatly enlarged in 1827. It is believed that it was built on the site of a much older church, possibly dedicated to St Aloyne. It was finally abandoned in 1922. The north wing was removed but all other walls are still standing. There is a bell tower (1 of only 4 in the country) on a small knoll behind the church. Evidence supporting the existance of an earlier church include the finding of stones with pictish symbols on the site in 19th century. These are now in the Dunrobin Castle museum. There is a graveyard surounding the church. 

In earlier times a much higher percentage of the parish population lived in the townships in Strath Brora and there is some evidence of several churches in the strath, though no physical proof remains. Suggested sites include Kilpheder Mor, Killin and Ascoile. There is a small graveyard at Ascoile and the church may have been close by.

Clyne Free Church on Gower Street was formed in 1843 under the ministry of the Rev George McKay. This was a wooden building. The present stone church was built in 1849.

St Columba Scottish Episcopal Church on Victoria Road was built in 1909 to cater for the increasing number of visitors to the local sporting estates. This church was constructed of timber and corrugated iron sheeting. This was intended as a temporary structure but is still standing and in use. 

Christ the King Catholic Church on Gower Street was opened in 1957.


Description & Travel

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Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

CLYNE, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 6 miles (N. E.) from Golspie; containing, with the village of Brora, 1765 inhabitants. This parish is about twenty-four miles in length, from north-west to southeast, and from six to eight miles in breadth, comprising 65,000 acres. It is bounded on the south-east by the German Ocean. In the well-cultivated district along the coast the surface is tame, but in other parts greatly diversified, presenting the most prominent and characteristic features of Highland scenery. The glens and lakes, adorned with natural wood and plantations, as seen from the vicinity of Killean, which also commands a prospect of the abrupt precipices overhanging Loch Brora, and the lofty mountains of Ben-Clibrig, Ben-Ormin, and Ben-Horn, are among the finest portions of this secluded district. Beyond Strath-Brora, however, about nine miles from the coast, the general aspect of the scenery becomes bleak and heathy, with extensive tracts of moor and moss, intersected by numerous rivulets, and lofty ranges of hills. In general the coast is low and sandy, and marked by a ridge of sand hills, covered in the more abrupt parts with bent, and in the others with tolerably good pasture. The river Brora, the principal stream, is celebrated for salmon of a superior size and flavour; it has its source in the forest of Ben-Clibrig, and after a winding course of thirty miles within the parish, discharges itself into the sea at Brora. The largest sheet of water is Loch Brora, which is about four miles long, and varies from a quarter to half a mile in breadth: its banks are clothed with several clumps of natural wood, and extensive plantations of fir; and the bold and precipitous Carrol rock, with the mansion-house of Kilcalmkill, contributes to its interesting and beautiful scenery.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NC781161 (Lat/Lon: 58.1172, -4.070644), Clyne which are provided by: