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The Shore Cottages

Photograph of The Shore CottagesThis humble row of fishermen’s cottages nestled in the cove at Berriedale embodies much of the history of Caithness over the past 200 years. Sir John Sinclair, agriculturalist and statistician, acquired this Langwell Estate in 1788. Participant in that controversial policy known as The Clearances, Sinclair introduced a flock of Cheviot sheep to the Berriedale straths, and provided his crofters with an alternative livelihood in the already booming Caithness herring industry in the coastal margins. An 1820 engraving of the Berriedale shoreline shows a little fleet of boats dotting the sea, nets spread on the shore to dry and womenfolk up to their elbows gutting herring in wooden troughs.

In 1811 Sinclair sold the Langwell Estate to James Horne. It was probably Horne’s nephew Donald who built these Cottages and the foursquare salmon bothy and ice house next door, turning to salmon from the humble herring. In 1856 Horne sold Langwell to the Duke of Portland who ran the estate along more recreational lines consistent with the Victorian aristocracy’s love affair with the Highlands.

Fishing gradually fell into decline at Berriedale and, accessed only by a footbridge across the Berriedale Water, by the 1950s the Cottages stood empty. We have preserved one Cottage for two, in its original configuration and combined the other two into a single, larger Landmark.

Today’s line-fishermen are not the only ones who will understand the attraction of this peaceful cove with its magnificent coastline of craggy cliffs and isolated seastacks studded with ancient towers, in this sea-held region of vast skies.

The Shore Cottages is now open for bookings for stays from 10 August 2012.

The Landmark Trust
The Booking Office is normally open Monday to Friday
9am - 6pm and Saturday 10am - 4pm.
Tel 01628 825925

A holiday in a Landmark is a chance to experience living in a historic building as if it were your own. Enjoy a quiet weekend for two in a cottage, tower or folly, or host a family celebration in a castle, medieval great hall, or a country house. Each property offers a unique experience. Landmark Trust has properties in many parts of the UK and a few abroad and offer excellent value for money.

01628 825925


Postal Address
The Shore Cottages


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