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Battle Site (16th Century)

Site Name Helmsdale

Classification Battle Site (16th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Battle Of Helmsdale

Canmore ID 7455

Site Number ND01NW 39

NGR ND 02 15

NGR Description ND c. 02 15

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND01NW 39 c. 02 15

Possibly on map sheet ND01SW.

The Earl of Sutherland had a strong force of his own men, some MacIntoshes, Munroes of Contalich, Mackenzies of Redcastle and some Macleods of Assynt, posted on the S side of the river. There was some skirmishing between the two armies for several days. Sutherland sent MacIntosh by night to bargain with Mackay into deserting his ally, Caithness. This was unsuccessful. Later he tried this with Caithness and they drew up a truce from which Mackay was excluded. Mackay learning this, marched his men back to Strathnaver in disgust.

R Gordon 1813; J Nicoll 1910.

In March 1587, the Earl of Caithness supported by the Strathnaver men led by Huistean Du, and by a contingent of Orcadians led by the Master of Orkney, invaded Sutherland and reached Helmsdale.

A MacKay 1914.


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