Drystone dyking training day

Castletown Heritage Society operates the Castlehill Heritage Centre as an educational resource for visitors, local students and school children and the local community. Through a programme of interpretive exhibitions and interactive workshops, we seek to stimulate and sustain interest in and understanding of the history, heritage, vernacular skills, biodiversity and physical environment of Castletown and the parish of Olrig. Our aim is to preserve and maintain the unique heritage of our community within both local Caithness and broader Highland contexts.

To see events and activities from previous years, click here:


Guided village walk


All events take place in Castlehill Heritage Centre unless otherwise stated

Event detail colour key - those highlighted in GREEN are confirmed, those in GREY are yet to be confirmed

(Completed 2014 event reports at bottom of listing)


1 Feb - Easter

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon from 2pm to 4pm

Winter exhibition - Our Maritime Heritage

The theme explores the rich social history linking our community to the sea - from early Caithness settlers to and villains, heroes, wrecks and rescues from the 16th century to modern day.

To find out more click HERE

First Sunday of every month from 1.30pm to 3.30pm


Third Thursday of every month from 7pm - 9pm

Castlehill Spinning Group

Returning spinners and new spinners most welcome.

Come along and have a try. No wheel needed. Come and be inspinnerised!!

To find out more and register interest, click HERE


New for Spring - Hand Spinning Classes

The Castlehill Spinners Group are planning to hold a series of five spinning classes aimed at the beginner. Under the tutelage of Ann Johnson, delegates will participate in hands-on workshops where all the basic techniques will be revealed and put into practice.

The workshops are keenly priced at £5 per session. For those unable to bring their own wheel and materials, wheels will be available to hire for £10 for the whole five weeks, including materials.

To find out more, or book a place, please CLICK HERE

All Year

Castlehill Archaeology Club

The Castlehill Archaeology Club meets regularly under the guidance of Paul Humphreys.

Interested in taking part? - click HERE

See also CAT website for details.

Monday evenings

7 - 9pm

Castlehill Artists

Our very popular painting workshop with Helen Moore.

Sessions run from 7-9pm on Monday evenings at a cost of £8 per evening plus materials. Juniors and OAPs £5. Beginners are especially welcome.

To find out more and register interest, click HERE



Draft 2014 workshop programme

The following workshops are under consideration as part of the 2014 programme.

  • Something Corny - Returning by popular demand - a hands on workshop making traditional corn dollies and similar artefacts. Date confirmed as Sat 18 October. Places are likely to fill up fast so please register interest early.
  • Thatching - This practical workshop will be held in conjunction with Mary Anne's cottage at Dunnet. Likely to be April or May.
  • Dry Stone Dyking - A traditional Caithness vernacular skill. Requires a minimum of 10 participants to run this workshop.
  • Book Binding - Create your own unique bound book. Very popular last time we ran this.
  • Creative Writing - Let your imagination roam and put your thoughts to paper under the guidance of our skilled tutor. Attend the book binding workshop as well and create your own unique storybook!
  • Primative photography - Forget about pixels and digits - explore the 'analogue' world through some of our photographic artefacts. Try your hand at making a pin-hole camera and producing pictures with it.

If you are interested in taking part in any of the above workshops or would like more information, please click HERE.

Wed 29 Jan

Wed 12 Feb

Tue 4 Mar

Tue 15 Apr


2014 Evening Talks

The programme of events for 2014 is coming together nicely, and to kick off the year in fine style we have arranged a series of illustrated evening talks by local presenters.

  • Wednesday 29th Jan 2014 - "The Drove Roads" by Dave Glass
  • Wednesday 12th February 2014 - "Shepherds in the Straths" by Jennifer Bruce
  • Tuesday 4th March 2014 - "HOUSED ICE From Sherbet to Salmon, Ancient Mesopotamia To Modern Caithness. A story of a fascinating and remarkable product" by George Bethune
  • Tuesday 15th April 2014 - "Caithness History and How to Exploit it" by Professor Donna Heddle

All talks will take place in Castlehill Heritage Centre at 7.30pm.

With the exception of the talk on Wed 12th February, all talks are in being staged association with Caithness Archaeological Trust.

Wed 23 April


Castletown Heritage Society Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of the Castletown Heritage Society will be held in the Castlehill Heritage Centre on Wednesday 23 April at 7.30pm.

Guest speaker: Catherine Paterson on Family History Research

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served thereafter. All welcome.

Castlehill Harbour

Sat 3 May

10am - 4pm

Rowing Skiff Day at Castlehill Harbour

In support of our current exhibition theme 'Our Maritime History', the Wick Coastal Rowing Club will be showing and demonstrating their skiff “Spirit O’ Wick” which was built by them and launched in July 2013.

Weather permitting, enjoy a trip in Dunnet Bay in this superb example of a St Ayles skiff.

Castlehill Heritage Centre will be open throughout the day where light refreshments will be available.


Watch this space for further details

Wild North Festival

Once again, Castlehill Heritage Centre will be holding a series of events in support of the Wild North Festival. Activities currently planned include:

  • Butterfly Exhibition
  • Wildlife Exhibition
  • Year of Homecoming 2014 themed Heritage Garden Display

Watch this space for further details

Sat 18 October

10am - 4pm

Something Corny

Returning by popular demand. Internationally renowned Elaine Lindsay from the Guild of Straw Craftsmen will lead a hands-on workshop demonstrating how to make 'corn dollys' and other traditional handicrafts using straw as the base material.

Spaces on this workshop are likely to fill rapidly. Early booking recommended.

To find out more and register interest, click HERE

Thursday 26 December

1pm to 4pm

Boxing Day Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

Join us at Castlehill Heritage Centre for mulled wine, mince-meat pies and a good going chinwag on our traditional festive Boxing Day opening.


Oct - Dec

Open every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon from 2pm to 4pm

Autumn Exhibition - Needles, shuttles and all

Explore the fascinating world of needles, thread, thimbles, awls, brads, looms, sewing machines, knitting machines, lasts, patterns and all sorts of intriguing equipment and devices. Learn about the trades that relied on them, and the hobbies and pastimes that used them. Do you know your Singers from your Brothers? Almost every home used to have one!

To find out more click HERE

Watch this space for confirmed dates and further details, alternatively:

CONTACT US by email or phone 01847 821 204

To book a place on an event, email or phone as above

Please ensure you make it clear which event you wish to book!