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

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR 2023

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

Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons

2pm - 4pm

All year round (excepting Christmas Day and New Year's Day)

Other times by prior arrangement

CURRENT REGULAR EVENTS

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

Castlehill House Exhibition

Come and enjoy a fascinating exhibition exploring Castlehill House and policies, from its beginning in 1770 to its sad demise in 1967.

Discover information on the owners, guests, employees and their lifestyle; examine artefacts reflecting life over the years; and ponder reminiscences from those who recall the house and estate.

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

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!

Monday evenings

7pm - 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

FORTHCOMING EVENTS & WORKSHOPS

2pm to 4pm

Tuesday 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!

COMPLETED 2023 EVENTS

Tuesday 14 November

7pm

John Calder - guest of Napoleon

In the first of our winter 2023/24 series of evening talks, Muriel Murray pieces together what is known of John Calder born 1785 and brings to life the story of this local sea-farer as he finds himself caught up in momentous events.

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

Flagstone Stories Exhibition

Come and enjoy the themed displays of tools, records, photographs and stories exploring the fascinating industrial and social history of the Flagstone Industry in Caithness. Explore the lives and experiences of those involved in, and connected to, the industry.

Sunday

6, 13, 20 and 27

August

2pm - 4pm

Cream Teas at Castlehill

Returning by popular demand, on every Sunday afternoon in August we will be serving Cream Teas at Castlehill. £3.50 per person.

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.

Friday 30th June,

Saturday 1st July

and Sunday 2nd July,

from 9:30am to 5:00pm each day

Traditional Basket Making

We are delighted to announce that at the beginning of July we will be hosting another of our very popular rush basket making courses led by internationally acclaimed basket maker Tim Johnson. Tim, from the Isle of Wight, has travelled 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. His focus this time will be on the manufacture of a Hayve, a unique style of bait basket. The hands-on course will be run over three days - the tuition fees are 50 per day so 150 for the full course. Payment in full must be made and cleared by 1st June.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided throughout the day, however participants should bring their own lunch.

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

Mucking in for 100 Years!

Come along to our latest farming themed exhibition and help us celebrate an amazing 100 years of the Young Farmers Association in Caithness.

Stories, photographs, tools and implements from our local Olrig farming heritage, plus displays of photographs and memorabilia from members of Caithness District Young Farmers.

Wednesday 26 April

7.30pm

Castletown Heritage Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Castletown Heritage Society will be held at Castlehill Heritage Centre on Wednesday 26 April 2023 at 7.30pm.

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

The guest speaker will be Andrew Guttridge.

December to February

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

Measurement Exhibition

Our latest local heritage themed exhibition features over one hundred exhibits demonstrating how we have measured things over the years. From length to time, speed, weight, volume, pressure and temperature to name but a few, on display is a fascinating collection of devices and instruments, both familiar and curiously fascinating.

Tuesday 21 March

7.30pm

Helen Moore - Landscapes

Our next evening talk will be presented by local artist Helen Moore on Tuesday 21 March at 7.30pm.

Helen will discuss the impact that the Caithness landscape has had on her work and how this has changed her work over the last 10 years. Helen takes the striking landscape of Caithness as her starting point, addressing themes of how rural space is used in the modern day, and the impact that humans make in the environment.

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!