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Fishing Bothy (Post Medieval), Fishing Station (19th Century), Icehouse (Post Medieval), Nethouse (Post Medieval), Pond (Post Medieval), Salt Store (Post Medieval), Sluice (Post Medieval)

Site Name Badentarbat

Classification Fishing Bothy (Post Medieval), Fishing Station (19th Century), Icehouse (Post Medieval), Nethouse (Post Medieval), Pond (Post Medieval), Salt Store (Post Medieval), Sluice (Post Medieval)

Canmore ID 116633

Site Number NC01SW 24.08

NGR NC 0103 0972

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Lochbroom
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty


Field Visit (August 1994)

NC01SW 24.08 0103 0972

The salmon fishing station at Badentarbat is the centre for a seasonal commercial bag-net fishery for wild salmon. Illness prevented other than two men unsuccessfully working a sweep net in 1992 and 1993, but a new tenant re-set the bag nets in 1994. Though most of the surviving buildings date from the 1850s onwards, there may well have been a fishing station here from the early 1800s. The house was built c.1860-70, originally single storey with an attic pole-store reached by an outside stair and a net store at one end. This building had a slated roof from the beginning. The present net store is said to incorporate an earlier ice-house, though the primary function was as a salt-house, tigh salainn, earthed up on both sides. The salt was used for pickling the salmon (and herring). The present large vaulted ice-house (also converted for other uses) dates from the 1870s with its pitched roof added towards the end of the century. This semi-subterranean stone store was packed with ice collected from a man-made pond during the cold weather, thrown in through a rear chute, and kept there until packed around the fish for transportation to the urban markets. The ice pond is identified by a shallow marshy lochan behind the fishing station, and by the remains of a sluice (Beaton 1994).

The various elements of the salmon fishery are generally as described by Beaton. The house stands to the S of the public road at NC 0099 0970; there is a garden on its SE side, at the bottom of which a bothy stands just above the shore. These two buildings are depicted on the 2nd edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ross and Cromarty 1906, sheet iiia - surveyed 1902) but the house cannot be earlier than the 1st edition of the map (Cromartyshire 1881, sheet iiia - surveyed 1875), which shows a long roofed building standing closer to the shore, approximately on the line of the present garden wall (and possibly incorporating the bothy). The vaulted ice-house is set into the hillside 100m SW of the house at NC 0091 0962. This does appear on the 1st edition map, and is marked as an ice-house. The net store is on the N side of the road at NC 0103 0972, and this is also marked as an ice-house on the 1st edition map. The lochan, now overgrown, is to the NE of the net store; it is not shown on either of the first two OS editions, although it does appear on Morrison's 1775 survey (SRO, E746/189). The remains of the sluice gate are at the SW corner of the loch, about 45m N of the net store. On the grassy bar between the loch and the shore there are a number of holes, marked by wooden posts, still used to support the poles on which fishing nets are hung to dry.

Visited by RCAHMS (SDB) August 1994

E Beaton 1994

Aerial Photography (2 September 1994)

Note (1996)

Site recorded during a survey of the intertidal zone and the coast edge (50m from the mean high tide mark) between the Rivers Ullapool and Culag.

NC 010 097 Salmon fishing station.

Sponsors: Historic Scotland, Glasgow University Archaeology Department.

A Long 1996


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