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"LOTH, a parish in the E. coast of county Sutherland, Scotland, 11 miles N.E. of Golspie, its post town. It contains the village of Port Gower, and adjoins Helmsdale. It is 7 miles in length,-and about 4 at its greatest breadth. The surface for the most part is hilly, and attains in some parts a height of 1,500 feet above the sea-level. There are several streamlets, the principal being the Loth. The parish is in the presbytery of Dornoch and synod of Sutherland and Caithness. The minister's stipend is £162. The church is a modern and commodious structure. There were formerly three chapels in this parish, but the burying-grounds of two are the only traces now left of them. A portion of the parish, including the town of Helmsdale, was in 1841 annexed to the parish of Kildonan. There are remains of Picts' houses on Loth Water, also cairns, tumuli, and a pillar of stone 10 feet high. The last witch burnt in Scotland suffered here about 1720."

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



Presbyterian / Unitarian
Loth, Church of Scotland


Presbyterian / Unitarian
Loth, Church of Scotland

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1851 - Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

  • LOTH, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 11 miles (N. E. by N.) from Golspie; containing, with the villages of Helmsdale and Port-Gower, 2526 inhabitants, of whom 1764 are in the rural districts. The name Loth seems to be of Danish origin, like the names of most parishes in the county of Caithness. In 1198, King William the Lion, on his march into Caithness to retaliate upon Harold, Earl of Orkney, the cruel death he had inflicted upon the Bishop of Caithness, passed through this parish, which afterwards, from its situation on the border of the county, participated largely in the frequent hostilities that took place between the inhabitants of the adjacent districts. During the turbulent period that preceded the final establishment of legitimate government, the place also suffered much from the depredations of lawless fugitives, for whose concealment it afforded ample facilities in the solitary recesses of the Ord of Caithness, which here separates the counties of Sutherland and Caithness. In 1513, the Earl of Caithness marched through the parish, with a band of his retainers, to the battle of Flodden-Field; and in 1679, a body of Highland troops passed on their route to Caithness, to support the claims of Campbell of Glenorchy to the earldom. During the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, the inhabitants took up arms in support of the government; and in 1746, the Earl of Cromarty, with a considerable force, advancing to Caithness for the purpose of raising recruits for the rebel army, burnt the mansion houses of Kintradwell and Crakaig, in this parish.

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