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Clardon Hill

Battle Site (12th Century)

Site Name Clardon Hill

Classification Battle Site (12th Century)

Canmore ID 8432

Site Number ND16NW 14

NGR ND 1401 6928

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Archaeology Notes

ND16NW 1401 6928

(Centred ND 1401 6928) Site of (NAT) Battle (NR) AD. 1196 (Also on ND16NE 16.)

OS 6" map, Caithness, 1st ed., (1872).

See also ND16NE 16.

In 1196 William the Lion were to subdue Harold the Elder, Earl of Caithness; but before the king had even entered Caithness, Harold avoided battle by taking out to sea. The king therefors sent his army to Thurso, the vill of Harold, and destroyed Harold's castle there. Harold the Younger, the grandson of 'Saint' Rognvald, in order to take possession of his legal portion of Caithness and Orkney, and after campaigns in t he Isle of Man and Orkney, returned to Caithness at Wick and fought against Harold the Elder; in that battle Harold the Younger and all his army were slain. This battle is said to have been fought on Clardon Hill, near Thurso, in 1196.

Only MacKay (1829) states that it was William the Lion who defeated Harold, Earl of Orkney and Caithtness, at Clardon Hill.

R Gordon 1813; R MacKay 1829; T Torfaeus 1886; J T Calder 1861; A O Anderson 1908; C Dickinson 1952.

No substantiating evidence regarding this battle was encountered during investigation.

Visited by OS (E G C) 18 April 1962.


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