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 - event dates with GREEN background are confirmed, those with a GREY background are yet to be confirmed

(Completed 2021 events (BLUE background) at bottom of listing)

Castlehill Heritage Centre - Opening Times

The Centre is currently temporarily closed to enable our new exhibition "First and Last" to be installed.

Watch the News page for latest details.

The Centre will re-open to the public on Sunday 20 February 2022.


From Sun 20 Feb 2022

2pm - 4pm

First and Last Exhibition

All the amazing objects and artefacts within our collections at Castlehill have been donated by local people with the intention that we look after them and allow as many visitors as possible to see them and learn about the history behind them. We try to do this in an organised way through regularly changed themed exhibitions, displays and hands-on workshops and activity days.

Our latest exhibition focuses on contrasts - First and Last, Early and Recent, Then and Now. Be it objects, buildings, services or occupations things evolve and change - not always for the better!

Temporarily closed

Re-opens Sun 20 Feb 2022

2pm - 4pm

WWII Rolls-Royce Merlin Engine

One of our most popular 'permanent' exhibits is the WWII Rolls-Royce Merlin engine that was recovered from a Caithness bog in 1990. The engine belonged to a RAF Hurricane that was stationed at RAF Castletown in August 1941, and was involved in a mid-air collision during a training flight. The story of the recovery of the engine, the original incident and the subsequent exploits of the Norwegian pilot, Lt Jens Muller of 331 Squadron, is quite incredible. As a taster, Muller was one of only three servicemen to successfully make it home following the Great Escape in 1944 from Stalag Luft III! This exhibit with it's incredible back story is not to be missed!

Temporarily closed

Re-opens Sun 20 Feb 2022

2pm - 4pm

Living Landscapes of Castletown

Over the past eighteen months, University of the Highlands and Islands PhD student Julian Grant has been beavering away with his research into the relationship between tourists and local communities around the North Coast 500, with a particular focus on Castletown and the Parish of Olrig.

One exciting aspect of his project has been his desire to document and reflect upon the 'living landscapes' of Castletown through the eyes of some of the people who live here. Using disposable film cameras, five volunteer participants have created a set of images (and accompanying words) that show Castletown as a vibrant place where the land itself is etched with stories, relationships, uses and meanings. This reminds us all - visitors and locals alike - that this is not a remote wilderness but a peopled place. And, as you'll see in the subtle hints of pandemic and lockdown, these images are a record of the community at this moment in time: a 'heritage of now' for future generations to look back on.

All the images and stories are now on display in the Centre.

Sessions restart on Monday 21 February 22

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


Date to be advised

Smithing/Metalworking workshop

Learn the craft of metal working using traditional skills. Hands-on, full day workshop - suitable for beginners and more experienced practitioners.

Cost: £20 - payable on booking. Includes instruction, materials and protective equipment. Bring own packed lunch - tea/coffee provided.


Date to be advised

Pottery Workshops

Following the highly successful pottery workshops held last year a further series of three hands-on traditional skills pottery workshops will be held in the autumn.

In past years these highly popular workshops are quickly fully booked - advance booking and payment of the workshop fee will be essential

To find out more and register interest please click HERE.


Date to be advised


Traditional Basket Making

We are delighted to welcome back Tim Johnson as our tutor for a traditional basketmaking workshop session. Tim, from the Isle of Wight, is an internationally renowned craftsman, travelling the world studying and teaching his art. This will be Tim Johnson's fifth visit to Castlehill as part of the ongoing programme of traditional skills tuition organised by Castletown Heritage Society.

In past years this highly popular workshop is quickly fully booked - advance booking and payment of the workshop fee will be essential. The date for the workshop will be announced on this website, and advertised locally.

To find out more and register interest, click HERE

Thursday 26 December



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!


Every Wed and Sun

2pm to 4pm

The Roaring 20s?

An exhibition exploring the day to day life in the village of Castletown and the parish of Olrig during the 1920s. It was a time of great social change, from politics and education, to transport, entertainment and domestic life. A fascinating glimpse into the lives of our forebears 100 years ago, with artefacts, news articles and personal reminiscences.

Our entry into the 'Highland Threads' on-line exhibition will also be on display, as will a feature display on the Living Landscapes of Castletown project.

Thursday 22 April 2021


Castletown Heritage Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Castletown Heritage Society will be held on Thursday 22 April at 7.30pm.

All Members, friends and interested parties from the Caithness community welcome.

The event will be held using the Zoom videoconference platform.

In order to take part in the AGM you need to pre-register by sending an email with your contact details and any advance questions via this link.

Joining instructions will be emailed just prior to the event following approval of registration.

Every Wed and Sun

2pm - 4pm

Maps and Charts exhibition

Our latest exhibition which features a fascinating display of local area maps, sea charts, building plans, survey equipment and plots of Caithness and Castletown area services.

Whether your interest is in ancient Bronze Age star maps, the evolution of survey and mapping techniques, or the latest LiDAR aerial laser scanning technologies there's sure to be something to pique your interest.

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

CONTACT US by email or phone 01847 821120

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

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