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The Name Latheron
The name Latheron is said to be from Loinn derived from Luidhoin, which in Gaelic means lodged or bedded bear, because the lands contiguous to the church are of a good quality, and yield excellent bear.1 It could also according to this same account be derived from the Gaelic Ląthair Rņin signifying the resort of seals, as seals were plentiful around the coast. This would fit best with the Gaelic name Lątharn and translate more easily into the English Latheran/Latheron.
Further possibilities2 are from the Gaelic: Ladhran, laghran meaning prongs or claws and therefore descriptive of huge standing stones or from the Norse: Hlatha meaning a barn or pile of stones.
The name is documented over the years as follows: 1275 Lagheryn, 1276 Laterne, 1515 Latheroun, 1551 Latherin, 1552-3 Laderane, 1560 Latherin, 1561 Ladroun.
Physical Background and Pre-History
Latheronwheel has a gloup or blowhole this is formed from the roof of a cave that has communicated with the surface by means of vertical shaft.
Some of the thickest glacial deposition is found in Latheronwheel whereas Smerral and Ben-a-Chielt are free of ice deposits. Latheronwheel harbour has some suggestions of ice deposits that suggest tongues of ice had crept out of higher land onto the lowland plain. A drift containing no shells is overlain by one with shells deposited by ice coming in from the North Sea.
Latheronwheel shows marine deposits that are evidence of a beach now raised above sea level, pebbles sometimes 30 cm deep lie on top of glacial deposits, the origin and age of these fragments in uncertain and it is nowadays hard to believe that the sea once stood so high.1.The Statistical Account of Caithness-shire 1840
2. Source: George Watson, Caithness Place Names