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Caithness Field Club Bulletin
April 1985

Vol. 4 No. 1   April 1985

Articles of local interest are always being sought for publication in the Bulletin and to maintain the wide spectrum of topics, contributions from new authors are always welcome. 

Contributions for the next edition to be published in October 1985 should be forwarded to Leslie Myatt, Braal, Halkirk by September. 

In this edition we give an account of the Field Club Badryrie project together with an article by David Miller on the area.  This article is reprinted from Vol. 2 No. 1 published in 1977 since it was thought that members who may not have seen it would be interested to read it in conjunction with the article on the recent project.

Anthony Jackson:
The symbol stones of Scotland: The Orkney Press, 1984, 254 pp., illus., 12.00.  This is the first full length book to be published on the Picts in the last decade and it is gratifying to see what can he published in Orkney and the quality of work produced by the Orkney Press.  Whilst most of the previous work on the Picts has been done by archaeologists this is the work of a social anthropologist based upon fourteen years of systematically analysing the combinations and distribution of the Pictish symbols. 

John W. Hedges: Isbister, A chambered tomb in Orkney: BAR, 1983, 313 pp., illus., 15.00.  This is a detailed report of the excavation which was carried out in South Ronaldsay, Orkney and produces much new evidence on the period of the chambered tombs.

John W. Hedges: Tomb of the eagles: John Murray, 1984, 244 pp., Illus.  This is the popular account of the above excavation for the general reader. It is well written and can be highly recommended to anyone having an interest in the period of the chambered tombs.

Horace Fairhurst: Excavations at Crosskirk Broch: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Monograph Series No. 3, 187 pp., illus., 17.00.  (A special discount rate is available to members of Caithness Field Club on application to the Secretary).  This is a detailed report of the archaeological investigations conducted between 1966 and 1972.  It also provides analytical discussion of broch origins with a number of interesting carbon dates from the site. 

Below is given the proposed programme of summer outings. Members are advised to watch for the local posters to confirm the arrangements.

Sunday April 28

Have you seen the salt pans of Brora? Here is an opportunity to visit this unique site which will be the culmination of a motor car outing to the Brora area.  This is an ideal outing for members who 1ike to find all their places of interest within reaching distance of the car seat.  Leader, Charles Allen.

Sunday May 19

Yarrows is the richest area in antiquities in Caithness; stone rows, chambered tombs, hill fort - you name it, it's there. This outing unfortunately necessitates a walk over rough ground but at almost every place you can trip over something of interest.  Leader, Leslie Myatt.

Sunday June 19

Good training for an attempt on Everest.  The highest hill fort in Britain is to be found 1902 feet (58Om) above sea level on the summit of Ben Griam Beg. Although the snow cap should be melted by the summer stout walking boots and watertight clothing is advised.  Many beautiful alpine plants should be seen.  Leader, Geoffrey Leet.

Friday June 21

Why Friday?  This is the summer solstice and a short rough walk in the evening to the top of Cnoc Na Maranaich (only 500 ft) to the cairn and standing stone.  From here, weather permitting we might see the sun setting behind a notch in the distant horizon, an event which takes place only once a year at 10.10p.m.  Midge repellant desirable.  Leader, Leslie Myatt.


On a date to be arranged it is hoped to arrange a sea trip to the Skerries.  Notorious for the number of ships which are wrecked here we hope to land safely and see some of the remnants of previous occupation.  Leader, Gordon MacLachlan.

Sunday September 22

Broubster and West Calder. Who carved the footprint in the rock 2000 years ago? This and many other interesting features may be seen in this area which was the subject of a recent Field Club survey now in the process of compilation. Strong shoes essential.  Leader, Geoffrey Leet.

Weekend Aug. 16-18

Subject to suitable demand it is hoped to arrange a weekend trip to the Black Isle area staying at the University of Aberdeen field centre at Tarradale House. Any members who are interested should inform the secretary as soon as possible.