Castletown, Highland

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For other places with the same name, see Castletown (disambiguation).
Scottish Gaelic: Baile a' Chaisteil
Dunnet Bay beach - - 355715.jpg
Castletown is located in Caithness
 Castletown shown within the Caithness area
Population 798 [1] (2001 census)
est. 800[2] (2006)
OS grid reference ND196678
Civil parish Olrig
Council area Highland
Lieutenancy area Caithness
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town THURSO
Postcode district KW14
Dialling code 01847 821
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Scottish Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Ross
List of places

Coordinates: 58°35′N 3°23′W / 58.59°N 3.38°W / 58.59; -3.38

Castletown (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a' Chaisteil) is a village on the north coast of the Highland council area of Scotland, situated near Dunnet Bay. It is within the civil parish of Olrig, where it is the main settlement, and within the historic county of Caithness. The A836 links the village with Thurso and Tongue in the west and with John o' Groats in the east. The B876-A99 links the village with Wick in the southeast.

Olrig Parish Church, Castletown

Much of the village is built on the old townland (or fermland) of Stanergill. The Stanergill Burn was the eastern boundary of the townland. It flows now through the eastern end of the village and so into Dunnet Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The name Stanergill can be read as meaning Stone Valley and much of Castletown was built during the 19th century boom years of Caithness as a source of flagstone. Much of the stone was processed in the harbour area of the village, known as Castlehill, and many of the streets of London, Sydney, Edinburgh & the financial district of New York City are paved with it. The harbour was built by James Bremner. Castletown's main building is the 'Drill Hall'. This is mainly used for parties, discos and small clubs such as the indoor bowls. The building that was used for these functions was the 'Traill Hall', a gift to the Village by the Traill family, owners of the flagstone quarry at Castlehill. Traill House, a large & imposing country home was the home of the Traill family, it was located in the woods at Castlehill, in later years it was owned by the Crumb-Ewing family, it became delelict after WW2 & burned down in the late 50's. The remains of the gatehouse can be seen on the side of the A836 at Castlehill plantation.

Industry in the village included manufacture of domestic food storage freezers, under the Norfrost brand. However, the company closed in 2013 and is now produced in County Durham by Ebac. [3]

Local government[edit]

Castletown is in the Landward Caithness ward of the Highland Council. The ward elects four councillors by the single transferable vote system of election, which produces a form of proportional representation. It is one of seven wards within the council's Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross corporate management area and one of 22 wards within the council area.


Castletown has a football team, Castletown FC, who wear a strip almost identical to the strip worn by Celtic FC. The pitch is regarded as the best in Caithness and Sutherland, and many Highland finals are held at the venue. Castletown play in the Caithness Division 1 following promotion from Division 2 in the 2013 season. They did the double that year, also picking up the Steven Cup with a 3-2 victory over Wick based team, Francis Street Club with goals from Stuart MacKenzie, Benn Murray and Greg Macleod.

Castletown also have bowls and badminton teams who play in the local 'Drill Hall'.


Castletown has a small hotel (The Castletown Hotel, was The St Clair Hotel), a large guest house (Greenland House), a well-stocked licensed grocery, a butchers (Castletown Meat Co.) that also sells groceries & fruit & veg, a fish & chip shop, a garden centre, a garage with petrol & diesel pumps, 2 hairdressers, a beauty thearapist, a primary school with nursery & an after-school club and a branch of the RBS, which is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.30am to 2pm. There is also a Free Church on the Main Street, with services at 12pm and 6.30pm on a Sunday. Most businesses are located on the main street, the A836.


External links[edit]