Upper Dounreay

Battle Site

Site Name Upper Dounreay

Classification Battle Site

Canmore ID 7863

Site Number ND06NW 4

NGR ND 006 658

NGR Description ND 006 658 and NC 950 642

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Reay
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND06NW 4 ND 006 658 and NC 950 642.

(ND 006 658 and NC 950 642) Site of Conflict between Clans AD.1437 (NAT)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

In 1437 raiders from Strathnaver (A MacKay 1914), Sutherland, led by Robert Neil - Wasse - McKay, Earl of Sutherland, were intercepted at Dounreay (ND 006 658) by Caithness men. The latter were forced to withdraw eastward to the Water of Forss but, receiving reinforcements, drove the invaders west to Sandside (NC 950 642). Here the McKays turned and pursued the Caithness men back to Dounreay.

This engagement is named the Chase of Sansett, or Ruoig Hansett (R Gordon 1813), and the Sandside Chase or Ruiog Haunsaid (R MacKay 1829). The Name Book (1873) (possibly following MacBain's Gaelic Dictionary) changed 'Ruiog' to 'Ruaig'. Standing stones (ND06NW 3) are said to mark graves of the slain.

R Gordon 1813; R MacKay 1829; Name Book 1873; A MacKay 1914.

No further information.

Visited by OS (J B) 7 September 1964.

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