Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  


Old and New Doors Open Free This September

28th August 2011

Photograph of Old and New Doors Open Free This September

Ever wondered what goes on behind closed doors? Every September, the national Doors Open Days offers free access to landmark buildings, private homes and usually private work spaces that the public never normally get a chance to see.

The Highland programme is co-ordinated by The Highland Council and Inverness City Heritage Trust. This year, over 35 sites will be open in The Highland Council area, ranging from state-of-the-art modern facilities to ancient castles and nuclear bunkers.

Doors Open Days is an opportunity to showcase interesting modern architecture.

This year, participants can take a special guided tour of the Highland Archive and Registration Centre. The Centre, which cost 10.5 million, was opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in 2009 and provides state-of-the-art facilities for the preservation of archives.

Special tours will also be available at the Centre for Health Science, a multi-user facility located adjacent to Raigmore Hospital. One of the first of its kind in the UK, it specialises in health-related teaching, research and patient care.

Other modern architecture to feature includes Glachbeg Croft Centre, North Kessock, an environmentally sustainable building with distinctive turf roof, Eden Court Theatre, one of the UK's largest art centres and Maggie's Highland, where visitors can learn about the work of Maggie's and the importance of their buildings and surroundings.

Historic buildings opening their doors for the event include 16th century Ballone Castle near Portmahomack; Cromarty House, an imposing Georgian mansion built in 1772; and Inverness Town House, built in the Victorian Gothic style between 1878 and 1881 and housing a fine range of historic portraits, painting and busts.

A range of historic churches across the area can be explored, from St John the Evangelists Church in Wick, built in 1868-70 and Berriedale Church, designed and built by Thomas Telford to St Mary's Catholic Church, Inverness, which has impressive stained glass windows and Wardlaw Mausoleum, the late Medieval burial place of the Lovat Frasers.

For something completely different, visit the Highland Astronomical Society's JSL Observatory at Culloden to learn about the night sky; take a guided tour of Inverness Sheriff Court, standing on the site of the Medieval castle of Inverness or explore the Council's Emergency Centre - a top secret underground bunker built by the RAF during WWII.

Councillor Ian Ross, Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning, Environment and Development Committee said: "We are really happy to support this annual event across the Highlands. As well as allowing visitors into some of the oldest buildings in the Highlands, we are really pleased that visitors will be able to see round some of the more exciting and innovative new buildings, potentially our historic buildings of the future. The event hopefully has something for everyone and is an excellent opportunity to get to see what really goes on in the buildings that we pass every day. I would like to thank Inverness City Heritage Trust, our organising partners, and, of course, all the building owners and managers who have opened their doors and made this event possible."

The full Doors Open Day programme is available to download from, printed copies are also available in Highland Libraries and service points.

In Caithness the Doors Open Day takes place on 17th September 2011.

Berriedale Church in Caithness, Scotland
Berriedale Church closed in 2006 with the final service being held on 1st October 2006.
See photos from that day at

The Caithness Buildings open on 17th September are -
Berriedale Church
Built in 1826, Berriedale Church is one of the 41 Parliamentary churches designed and built by Thomas Telford in the Highlands and is the only one to carry a date on a stone plaque over the door. Set in a peaceful location surrounded by gravestones, it was closed as a church recently but is now looked after by the Berriedale Church & Cemetery Association. It is available for weddings and other local events. Refreshments and toilet facilities available at nearby village hall.

Caithness Horizons, Thurso
Caithness Horizons opened to the public on the 1st December 2008 following the refurbishment of the Thurso Town Hall and adjacent Carnegie Library. Since opening the museum has been awarded a 5-star Visitor Attraction rating by VisitScotland and has achieved full Museum Accreditation. Caithness Horizons is home to a permanent and temporary exhibition gallery. In addition, Caithness Horizons has a lovely gift shop and
cafe which serves delicious home-baking. Caithness Horizons is fully accessible and is located on the High Street in Thurso. Parking is available immediately opposite the museum.

Church of St John the Evangelist, Wick
This Episcopal Church of Scotland, one of only two in Caithness, was designed by the architect Alexander Ross, and built in 1868-70. It has seating for approx 110 people. The church became a Category B Listed Building in 1997. The interior has a warm and friendly atmosphere, accentuated by impressive stained glass windows. There is a pipe organ by Harrison of Durham within the chancel.
*Note: Toilets in church hall on Moray Street not suitable for wheelchair users.

Clan Gunn Heritage Centre, Latheron
Clan Gunn Heritage Centre and Museum tells the story of one of Scotland's
oldest clans from its Viking origins to the present day.
The Centre holds an archive of Clan Gunn and its many related families.

Dunbeath Heritage Centre
Located in the Old School, Dunbeath Heritage Centre is an open door to the rich past of the Caithness Strath and the landscape of Neil Gunn's "Highland River" and "Silver Darlings". Information available on local history, as well as an exhibition about the "Wag of Forse", art installations and a bookshop. Accredited Museum with new exhibition area.

Waterlines Visitor Centre, Lybster
The history of the fishing industry in Lybster, at one time the third largest herring port in Scotland, and the natural heritage of the area is brought to life in a fascinating exhibition.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Council gets tough on unlicensed HMO
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO).   The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.  
Council Leader Welcomes Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands.   This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.  
Highland is ready for winter - are you?Thumbnail for article : Highland is ready for winter - are you?
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October.   Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.  
Trading Standards are looking for Test Purchasers
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises.  We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.  
Killimster Moss Road OpeningThumbnail for article : Killimster Moss Road Opening
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road.   Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.  
Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishmentThumbnail for article : Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishment
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road.   A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.  
Consultation on review of Highland polling stations
A chance to have your say.   Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.  
£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.   Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.  
Highland Council responds to SPA decisions on the Inverness Police Control Room
The Scrutiny Lead for The Highland Council, Cllr Matthew Reiss responded to the decisions made today by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at their meeting in Inverness.   He said: "We are naturally deeply disappointed by the decisions today to close the Inverness Control Room and to spread the National Database Enquiry Unit between Inverness and Govan.  
Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election resultsThumbnail for article : Independent councillor returns in by-election - Tain and Easter Ross by-election results
The by-election for a councillor to represent the Tain and Easter Ross Ward on The Highland Council has been won by Alasdair Rhind (Independent) who was one of six candidates who contested the vacancy.   The bi-election was brought about by the resignation of Jamie Stone following his success in the Westminster elections He joins Councillors Fiona Robertson (Independent) and Derek Louden (SNP) in representing Ward 7 on The Highland Council.  

[Printer Friendly Version]