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Kyle Of Durness To Cape Wrath Lighthouse

Road (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Kyle Of Durness To Cape Wrath Lighthouse

Classification Road (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) 'Lighthouse Road'

Canmore ID 296087

Site Number NC36NW 18

NGR NC 33477 69099

NGR Description NC 31983 69999 to NC 34999 68278

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Durness
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Sutherland
  • Former County Sutherland

Archaeology Notes

NC36NW 18 31983 69999 to 34999 68278

See also NC27SE 41, NC36NE 101 and NC37SW 26.

This road was constructed from 1828 to link a slipway on the Kyle of Durness (NC 3708 6603) with the newly-constructed lighthouse (NC27SE 3.00) at Cape Wrath. It went some way to ensuring that personnel and goods could be transported to the latter when the slipway at Clais Charnach (NC27SE 4) could not be used, though neither slipway was accessible in very bad weather. The road enters the southern part of mapsheet on the steep S flank of Beinn an Duibhe and passes the site of missing milestone 8 (NC36NW 6) and crosses a broad peat-filled basin before reaching milestone 7 (NC36NW 5). Here, the road turns NW and traverses the foot of the S flank of Sgribhis-bheinn, crossing the Allt na Guaille by way of a small, single arch bridge (NC36NW 17).

The method by which the road has been constructed has been determined to a large extent by the topography but more than anything else by the extensive cover of peat across the Cape. On low-lying blanket bog the road-makers have had no alternative but to lay down a causeway and this probably explains the presence of a number of sizeable quarries along the route. Where the road has been able to contour along a slope, it has been constructed on a levelled terrace, where necessary, supported on its lower side by a stone revetment. At numerous points along the route there are culverts (CWTC08 69–92, 94–5, 147–54) and small quarries. The former are generally very well-built with drystone risers and stone slab lintels. Many of the quarries are likely to have been opened up when the road was constructed; most probably continued to supply material for road repairs; some may have been opened especially for that purpose after the road was constructed.

(CWTC08 69–92, 94–5, 147–54)

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS) 5 August 2008.


Project (4 August 2008 - 15 August 2008)

In August 2008 an archaeological and architectural survey was undertaken by RCAHMS of the Cape Wrath Training Centre (CWTC), Highland. The survey was commissioned as a partnership project by Defence Estates (Ministry of Defence) to provide a baseline survey to enhance the historic component of the Land Management Plan for the CWTC. The survey set out to record all visible archaeological features and architectural structures, map them using differential Global Positioning System (dGPS), digitally photograph them, and assess and record their condition using criteria defined by Defence Estates. The survey also recorded all the redundant and current boundaries around and within the centre. Sufficient time was available towards the end of the survey to enable detailed measured drawing surveys to be undertaken of some of the more interesting monuments within the CWTC.

Information from HES Survey and Recording (JRS) 18 April 2018.


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