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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Mains Of Olrig

Monastery (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Site Name Mains Of Olrig

Classification Monastery (Period Unassigned)(Possible)

Canmore ID 8393

Site Number ND16NE 20

NGR ND 1876 6708

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

ND16NE 20 1876 6708.

(ND 1876 6708) Supposed Site of (NAT) Monastery (NR)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1873)

Major Smith (Olrig House) states that some years ago he covered up a very fine well, situated in the centre of the then remaining ruins of this supposed monastery. It is not possible to obtain any authentic information about this monastery; Major Smith can give no particular account of it, other than the remains were those of a very old monastery.

Name Book 1873.

At ND 1879 6708 there is a slight elevation in the arable field measuring very approximately 65.0m N-S by 60.0m. According to the farmer at Olrig Mains it is more stony than the rest of the field, and the stone is of a different nature to that found elsewhere in the vicinity; however, it is not suggested that the elevation is necessarily an artificial construction. The farmer added that the edge of the rise becomes parched in dry conditions - possibly evidence of a stone wall. He is aware of the well but not of its location; his uncle unearthed it several decades ago. There appears to be no historical record of a monastery here, and the supposition of its existence appears fanciful.

Visited by OS (J B) 7 December 1981.


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