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Books here are mainly Caithness related in subject or by authors from the county or nearby
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Books From Caithness Family History Society
Halkirk Census

Caithness Archaeology: Aspects of Prehistory Hardcover – 31 Mar 2015
The book can be pre-ordered at Amazon
Caithness Archaeology
Caithness, the most northerly county in mainland Britain, is one of the richest cultural landscapes in Europe. The relative geographical isolation of the area, traditional landholding and the survival of large estates, combined with the use of flagstone as the main building material since earliest times, has ensured the survival of a wide range of monuments in a profusion unequalled elsewhere in Scotland. In the 19th century, Caithness was at the forefront of archaeological endeavours with many sites central to our understanding of Scottish prehistory.

Pittodrie's Silent Assassin - By Donald Wilson - Published December 2010

A Highland journalist with strong Caithness roots has written a book about his boyhood footballing hero.
Donald Wilson, who works for the Highland News in Inverness has published a book about Davy Johnston, who played for Aberdeen for three seasons during Eddie Turnbull's reign as manager between 1966 and 1969.  Donald, whose mother Jeanette (nee Elder) hails from Thurso has been a regular visitor to the town.

"Davy played for my home town team, Nairn County in the early sixties and he joined Hearts as a teenager. He was a home-town boy, became homesick and returned to Nairn scoring goals for fun with the County. In 1964-65 it was thought he broke a Highland league record when he scored 73 league and cup goals that season. But the book reveals the record in fact is held by Andy 'Juppy' Mitchell who score 77 goals for Inverness Thistle in 1955-56."

Enitlted "Pittodrie's Silent Assassin" the book covers Davy's career in the Highland League and with the Dons.
He quit Aberdeen and signed for Inverness Caley in 1969 and won his first Highland League championship with the Telford Street club.  Johnston died of cancer  in 2004 aged 61.

A keen follower of the Highland League Donald was at Harmsworth Park when Nairn beat Wick Academy 4-1 in a North of Scotland Cup tie in the early seventies.

"It was the first time a Highland League team had flown to a match in the North Cup. I was on holiday in Thurso and went to Wick for the day. I confess there were no divided loyalties. But I was delighted when Wick gained entry to the league. They are great ambassadors for football in the north. I watched them in the 3-3 draw at Station Park recently and they have some great young players and are a good footballing side."

"Pittodrie's Silent Assassin - Davy Johnston, Aberdeen, Nairn and Caley Sharpshooter" priced 14.99 by Desert Island Books is now available from Bew's in Thurso and Simpsons bookshops in Wick

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Reformed Grail Fanatic From Wick Launches Latest Book
The mystery of Rosslyn Chapel has been given a new twist amid claims that the historic building may be hiding more secrets deep underground. 
Ashley Cowie' latest book examines more of the mysteries.
HUNKY historian Ashley Cowie is Scotland's real-life Dr Robert Langdon - The Sun

 

 

 

 

 

A Scottish Potato Breeders Harvest By Jack Dunnet BSc (Agric), Phd, MIBiol, FRAgS, MBE  FREE
Eight years ago Jack Dunnet published his first book on potato breeding -  'A Scottish Potato Breeder's Harvest' (Hardcover)  The update is being published as A Scottish Potato Breeders Harvest (Part Two) (Pdf).  Dr Dunnet has gathered some further thoughts and papers and kindly allowed Caithness.org to offer this freely on the web site. Many of you may not have thought that there might be another way of feeding the world's burgeoning population other than by grain based foods but Dr Dunnet offers another direction that may indeed prove very useful to many countries.  Dr Dunnet's contribution to world food production is well known in academic circles and more  about his work can be seen on the web site of Caithness Potato Breeders Ltd

The Land Beyond the Green Fields by Joan Campbell
Like a ball of yarn that keeps rolling out of reach, a golden thread of love and loyalty leads Thomas, a housecat with an undefined yearning, on an adventurous journey of warmth, humor and heartbreak in the new novel by Joan Campbell, The Land Beyond the Green Fields. Young Thomas has a terrible secret, one that he cannot live with. As he heads away from all he knows and loves, the word BETRAYAL is engraved upon his every thought. How could his mother do this to him? Thomas' beliefs force him to seek a land far away from Stoneybraes Farm that he is assured does not exist this side of death. It is a decision that sets in motion a series of ominous events as evil fills the void left behind and his loved ones are cruelly tested. In the tradition of Watership Down, Thomas embarks on a learning journey that brings love and hate, despair and joy in equal measure. He shares adventures beyond his imagination with a travelling companion whose loyalty is all that matters in this quest. His troubled mother and his autocratic mentor wait at home with the news that will free him from all anxiety. Will those who follow in Thomas' feline footsteps find him? Will he make it back home for a hero's welcome, or spring the trap that is set to destroy him? Find out in the thrilling conclusion to The Land Beyond the Green Fields. Joan Campbell brings to bear her vast experience as Thomas' journey through the Highlands of Scotland is accentuated by the region's natural and cultural heritage. Joan is well known throughout the Highlands of Scotland and beyond for her work in tourism. She recently became the first woman to receive the Scottish tourism industry's most prestigious prize, the Silver Thistle. She also writes a monthly column for the Scottish Provincial Press publication, The Northern Times. With her lifelong love of all animals - cats, horses and rabbits in particular - it is little wonder she penned a nail-biting adventure that brings into the picture all three of her favourites, characterised by animals she knew.

Camp 165 Watten - Scotland’s Most Secretive POW Camp By Valerie Campbell
Drawing on oral testimonies and other sources, the author has compiled a detailed, in-depth history of one of the most secretive prisoner of war camps in the United Kingdom. Situated in Watten, Caithness in the far north of Scotland, its links with the wider world such as Canada and Poland are illustrated and sets Watten’s place within European history. The camp held a number of SS officers including prominent prisoners such as Gunter d’Alquen, the journalist; Otto Kretschmer, the ‘Wolf of the Atlantic’; and Paul Werner Hoppe, former commandant of Stutthof Concentration Camp in Poland. The history of its inception and creation are described, as is the daily life of the prisoners. Although some were allowed out of the camp to work on local farms others, who were labelled as ‘black’, denoting their high-risk status, were not. However, all of them had the opportunity to learn new skills or study the many varied courses that were on offer behind the barbed wire. Numerous escape attempts were made but all of the prisoners returned to the camp, either through choice or necessity.

The Highland Clearances Trail by Rob Gibson
The Highland Clearances Trail was originally published by Highland Heritage in 1981, when Inverness Tourist Office banned the booklet from its stock, stating that it was ‘unsuitable for tourists’. Today Luath Press has published a much enlarged version with five times as many entries as the original pamphlet. It is now an invaluable guide to the reality of the Clearances and their shattering effect on Gaelic culture.

 

Orkney by Air  - a photographic journey through time
Guy Warner

Orkney by Air is a photographic record of aviation in the Orkney Islands from the first flights by Ted Fresson through to the twenty-first century. It is accompanied by historical narrative. A well written history of air travel in Orkney from the beginning in 1931 to the newest air terminal in 2002. Covering a range of information in a non technical form with enough detail to be interesting but not bogged down in it.  A high readable volume that will be of interest to anyone whether in Aviation or as part of the modern history of Orkney.

The Great Feud - The Campbells And The MacDonalds
Published to Coincide With St Andrews Day
This is the only book to give a readable account of the feud between two great clans.  It is a vivid account of the remarkable rivalry and sometimes bloody conflict between two great families which originated in the west coast of Scotland.  Starting with the violent death of the Campbell chief in 1297 the feud then went on for 450 years in Scotland and Northern Ireland with numerous cullings and clashes inflicted by both sides, amongst which the incident at Glencoe just happens to be the best publicised.
The People of St. John's, Wick: a congregational history by Gordon Johnson
This new local title was researched and written by Gordon Johnson, and is a history of people in Wick who have been actively involved with St. John's episcopal church, Moray St., Pulteneytown since the congregation was founded in 1855.  Many local personalities appear, especially people originally from England who attended St. John's as the nearest in worship style to their churches back home.

Parish Life On The Pentland Firth
Morris Pottinger

Island of Stroma
Margaret Aitken

The Rough Guide to the Scottish Highlands
Rob Humphreys & Donald Reid

Trace Your Orkney Ancestors
James Irvine packs in a huge amount of information and detail in his recently published book on tracing ancestors from Orkney.  Buy this book direct from the author of via Amazon.

The Birds and Mammals of Caithness
Robert Innes Shearer's contributions to the natural history of Caithness, 1859 - 1867 Compiled and edited by
Hugh Clark & Robin M. Sellers
Hugh Clark and Robin Sellers have done an excellent service to bird and animal lovers by drawing together this wonderful set of articles by Robert Innes Shearer.   In addition they have added updates to the original articles that were written between 1859 and 1867 and mainly published in the John O'Groat Journal.  four articles appeared in other publications - three in The Field and one in Proceedings of the Royal Physical Society of Edinburgh.

If the Gods Are Good  
The Epic Sacrifice of HMS Jervis Bay

This is the enthralling and, at times, harrowing account of one of the greatest and most heroic naval battles of World War II. On 28th October 1940 HMS Jervis Bay, an ancient cargo ship armed with a small number of obsolete guns, set out to escort 37 freighters and tankers across the North Sea.

Unexpectedly discovered by the Admiral Scheer, one of Germany’s most feared pocket battleships, the Jervis Bay captain immediately dispersed convoy HX84 to hide in the twilight of a rising winter storm. Outgunned and with no hope of survival, Captain Fegen and over 190 of the 256 Jervis Bay crew nevertheless then sacrificed themselves as they took the battle to the enemy in a one-sided duel with the Admiral Scheer, as they fought to secure the safe passage of the ships in their charge.

Colin Campbell Caithness Comedy Tapes


A Drifter's Legacy


E Games: A History of the Halkirk...

Hills of the North Rejoice! Ralph MacGregor
coverA collection of accounts of journeys in the north of Scotland based on material written for the local newspaper - the Caithness Courier
Ralph's Far North Ralph MacGregor
Collection of essays on far north of Scotland, mostly travels on foot or bike through the seasons of the year.
 

 

 

Also By Ralph MacGregor
I'll Survive, Even If It Kills Me

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Memories of Caithness Christopher J Uncles
Fully illustrated, Christopher J. Uncles presents a history of Caithness.

 

Sang 'at Softly Birled, A: Poems in the Caithness Dialect
Jim Miller


Silver Bough by Neil Gunn
Reprinted in October 2003

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Colin Campbell
Local Caithness Radio
Comedy Tapes

A History Of Thurso Pipe Band
Thurso Pipe Band have just released a book on the history of the band from 1913 to the bands 90th anniversary year 2003. The book was researched and written by Sheila Plowman and is now for sale at 10.00.  It will be available from Sheila Plowman on 01847 893901 or the band secretary David Manson on 01847 891042 or by contacting any band member.

The Chambered Cairns of Caithness (The...

The Chambered Cairns of Orkney (The...

The Chambered Cairns of Sutherland: An...
Following the same format as "The Chambered Cairns of Orkney" and "The Chambered Cairns of Caithness", this third volume in the survey of Scotland's chambered cairns focuses on Sutherland, an area in the remote North West of Britain. The authors list the localities and references for each cairn and provide a full description of the existing structures and their contents, with a summary account of the results of excavation where necessary. Interpretation and the archaeological significance of the monuments are described in full. This work is intended for students of archaeology at all levels and residents of and visitors to Sutherland.

Tomb of the Eagles: Death and Life in a...


The Landscape Of Scotland

 

Head for the Poetry Shop
Scottish Books
The Sea
Sutherland Book Shop
Neil Gunn Section
Angus Calder

 

Ann McKevitt - New Book Style Solutions

Twelve Light Years
Margaret Aitken writes about her years when her husband was a lighthouse keeper based in Stroma

Connections
Templars, Grail, Sinclairs, Rosslyn

Plaids and Bandanas: from Highland Drover to Wild West Cowboy A new book by Rob Gibson

Index to J.T.Calder's "Sketch of the...  
Index to J.T.Calder's "Sketch of the Civil and Traditional History of Caithness from the Tenth Century" 2nd Edition with Historical Notes by Thomas Sinclair M.A Published by William Raw,Wick,1887  by Sara-Jayne Donaldson  - Researcher and Genealogist
This index would be very useful if you are using the text being reproduced  on Caithness.org or as a companion to a copy of the book that did not have an index at publication.

  


Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland 150
MacGibbon & Ross
Regarded as the bible of Scottish Castles in Five Hardback Volumes
Absolutely magnificent, these intrepid architects travelled the length and breadth of Scotland at the tail end of the 19th c making detailed architectural drawings of as many of Scotland's castles as they could.
This is the ultimate reference work for all those interested or writing about Scottish castles, or their architecture.  In five hard back volumes, 150 is a bargain, you will be astounded by the detail and amount of information provided, complete with historical data.  
 

Green by Valerie Carr 9.99
This autobiographical account of childhood in the '50s and '60s centres around Latheronwheel, a small village in Caithness. Brimful of anecdote, it is neither slushily sentimental nor dreamily nostalgic, but an evocation of country life and a child's relationship both with adults and nature.

Review by Bill Fernie 6 August 2002
 

Castletown Heritage Book "Flagstone Village" Now Available In Shops
Castletown Heritage Group have published a new book packed full of information about their town and the area.  The book is priced at 14.95 and is sure to be a reference guide for many years to come.  The book is available locally in newsagents or certain Post Offices - Castletown being one of them.   The book has had a limited print run.

 Wick Of The North Frank Foden
25 -
814 pages packed full of information on Wick from its earliest days.
Men Raise Funds Writing A Book On Wick Pipe Band
Two men with strong connections to Wick Pipe Band have produced a history of Wick Pipe Band to raise funds for the band.  Launching the book with a signing session on Saturday they were hopeful that all one thousand copies of this unique record would sell quite quickly.
Donald Omand's latest book is now available -
The Fife Book
The Kingdom of Fife", as it is still proudly known, lies at the heart of Scotland. From earliest times it had been the centre of power and is of historical significance. This volume covers the history of the area from Cardinal Beaton's murder to local mining and Victorian monuments. Compare the Herring Industry in fife with that of Caithness - material contributed by Dr James Coull.
Caithness Monumental Inscriptions...
This set of books one to four was available on amazon but is noow out of print.  Copies can be found in the Wick Library for perusal.


Caithness & Sutherland Map
Caithness
Elizabeth Beaton
Covering buildings old, new and occasionally demolished and including many historical anecdotes about the personalities connected with the area, this guide should be of general interest to tourists and locals, as well as those with a specific interest in architecture.
 

Wick of the North  Frank Foden

The Breeding Birds of Caithness
G W R Dickson

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Caithness Paperweights
Colin Terris
The Charlton Standard Catalogue.
This guide illustrates and provides detailed listings for over 1700 paperweights from 1969 to the present, including information on the designer, issue date and prices.

The Magic of Caithness
Ronald Thompson

Caithness And The War
N M Glass

Caithness From The Air
Clive Richards

Caithness Remembered
Clive Richards

No More Paraffin-Oilers, new edition (Links in soon)
Ian Cassells
This is Ian’s best-selling account of his years as a paraffin-oiler – the old nickname for a Scottish lightkeeper. Many stunning pictures are included which show the beautiful and remote locations of the lighthouses.

 The New Caithness Book
Donald Omand

Caithness
Donald Omand - Illustrator Gail Innes

Caithness & Sutherland Trout Fishing
Lesley Crawford

The Silver Darlings
More Books by or about Neil Gunn
Neil Gunn
The tale of lives won from a cruel sea and crueller landlords. The dawning of the Herring Fisheries brought with it the hope of escape from the Highland Clearances, and this story paints a vivid picture of a community fighting against nature and history, and refusing to be crushed.

 A Light Walk
Ian Casssells
Written during the long night watches at Stroma Lighthouse, this is Ian’s humorous and entertaining account of his 1100-mile walk around the manned lighthouses on the Scottish mainland in 1986.

Thurso Maps & Guides

Wick Maps

Halkirk Pathfinder Map

Lybster Pathfinder Map

Environmental Radioactivity In Caithness & Sutherland
D Wickenden, N J Pattenden, W A Mackay

Walk Scotland
Bruce Sandison
Detailing over 150 walks - across Highland and Lowland mountains, over hills and moors, along cliff-girt coastal paths - this guidebook combines practical information with local history and the author's personal knowledge of these routes in his beloved native land.List P

Wick of the North
Frank Foden

Inventors and Engineers of Caithness
Robert P Gunn
Recounts the lives and achievements of the inventors and engineers of Caithness, Scotland.  Some of their accomplishments include: the fax machine and the electric clock; the automatic telephone exchange; the shock absorber; and possibly the first successful braking systems for motor vehicles

Miller Academy
History And Memories for the Millennium

Allan Cathel Lannon
History of the school, its founders, buildings and pupils.
AA All-in-One Guide to Scotland
Everything you may need to know about Scotland is featured in this guide. It includes suggestions on where to stay and eat, places to visit, how to entertain children, as well as price guides, details of public transport and tourist information centres.
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History of Computing

Latest Bargains  - See great offers in DVD, Video, Books, Software & Music
Play Station 2 Latest  - Action & Adventure   Driving & Racing   Sports Games

 

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