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 took place in Castlehill Heritage Centre unless otherwise stated

Nov - Feb

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

Winter Exhibition - Life At Home

A fascinating exhibition illustrating everyday life at home in Castletown in by-gone times. Featuring artefacts from the Society's extensive collection of objects, appliances, tools, furniture, photographs, newspapers and other domestic ephemera, some of which may be all too familiarů

Event postponed

Evening Talk - Ice and Fire

An illustrated talk by Castletown Heritage Society committee members Neil Buchan and Elspet Chapman exploring the different styles and approaches to the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage in the diverse climates and ethnicity of Iceland and Cyprus.

Sat 11 Feb


Traditional Music Workshop - Bothy Night

A traditional skills workshops exploring the social history of the bothy, and in particular the traditional songs and stories of the workers and farm servants who used to inhabit them. Featuring local artists and performers.

See News page for report of this very successful event

Wed 1 Mar


Evening Talk - Highland Railway Memories

John Macdonald started his career as a signalman at Georgemas in 1956, later working at Perth, Blair Athol, Aviemore, Beauly and the Kyle line. John's illustrated talk will include memories of how the railway worked in the age of steam and the transition to the first diesel engines. Includes some rare images taken by an engine driver in Helmsdale on probably the last goods train under steam.

Sat 11 Mar

10am - 3pm

Caithness Chair Workshop

We have received several enquiries over the years for information about the vernacular Caithness Chair. Fortunately we have a good surviving example in our artefacts collection, which has prompted us into running a hands-on traditional skills workshop focused on the manufacture and repair of these iconic chairs.

The workshop will be led by experienced furniture maker Catherine Macleod, who will introduce the iconic Caithness Chair and demonstrate various techniques used in its manufacture.

Tue 25 April


Castletown Heritage Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Castletown Heritage Society will be held in the Castlehill Heritage Centre on Tuesday 25 April at 7.30pm.

All members, friends and associates welcome.

Guest speaker for the evening will be Muriel Murray, who will pose the question - What ever happened to Janet Oal?

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served thereafter.

22 Feb - Apr

Hatches, Matches and Dispatches

A themed exhibition which explored the rites of passage through life and features a wide range of artefacts and ephemora from our extensive collection of items. From christening gowns, wedding dresses and bier stretchers, to stories of growing up and old in Castletown and Olrig parish.

Sat 6, 13 and 20 May

10am - 12am

Pottery Workshops

A series of three hands-on traditional skills pottery workshops held in May.

To find out more and register interest, click HERE

Sat 3 June

From 1pm

Official Opening 2pm

10th Anniversary Celebration Open Day

This year we celebrated 10 action packed years since we completed the conversion of some redundant farm buildings at Castlehill into Castlehill Heritage Centre. From humble beginnings the Centre has gone from strength to strength. Highlights have included a visit by HRH The Duke of Rothsay!

We held an Open Day on Sat 3 June, in the middle of a month-long an exhibition showing the development of the building and garden from a derelict shell to the present set up. Learn more about our future plans!

The official opening of the Open Day was conducted by Lord Thurso.

Plus! Displays and activities from other groups who use the Centre including Astronomers, Woodturners, Dunnet Forestry Trust, Ornithologists (SOC), Radio hams and art class. Refreshments available.

Every Sunday in August

2pm - 4pm

Afternoon Teas at Castlehill

Returning by popular demand, on every Sunday in August we will be serving afternoon teas at Castlehill.

Delicious home made scones and cakes. Guaranteed to get the taste buds dancing!

A perfect way to complement a Sunday afternoon stroll round the Flagstone trail or a meander round the amazing Heritage Garden.

Sat 26 Aug

10am - 4pm

Sea Themed Day

A day around Dunnet Bay, dedicated to various activities associated with the sea - such as rope making, pebble painting, sea shell activities, sea shore treasure hunt, sea birds, and inshore rowing.

Refreshments available all day at Castlehill Heritage Centre.

Click on poster for full details.

Sunday 10 Sept

Foraging Workshop

Ever tried brander bread flavoured with rowan berries and honey cooked in the embers of a camp fire, washed down with birch needle tea? No? You don't know what you are missing!

Join us on our hands-on workshop exploring sources of food occurring naturally within our local environment. Participants will be guided in the gathering of edible foodstuffs by an experienced foraging expert, and will then prepare delicious and nutricious recipies!

Aug - Sept

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

Flagstone Exhibition

Our very popular summer exhibition returns, featuring themed displays of artefacts, photographs and stories exploring the fascinating industrial and social history of the Flagstone Industry in Caithness.


Tuesday 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. Always a popular event!

Featuring Crofting and Farming exhibition. Plus! Revisit your childhood with our selection of our traditional children's games!

Nov - Jan

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

Crofting and Farming Exhibition

Our very popular exhibition on crofting and farming in Caithness returns, featuring themed displays of artefacts, photographs and stories exploring life on the croft and changes in the lot of the farmer through time.

To find out more click HERE

Monday evenings

7 - 9pm

Castlehill Artists

Our very popular painting workshop with Helen Moore.

Sessions run from 7pm - 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