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:

2014
2023

Guided village walk

PROGRAMME OF EVENTS FOR 2024

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 2024 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

PLAN YOUR VISIT

CURRENT REGULAR EVENTS

2pm - 4pm

Every Wed, Sat and Sun afternoon

All at Sea Exhibition

Our latest exhibition takes a look at the maritime heritage of the area with stories of heroes and villains at sea, the earliest examples of sea going craft, the importance of Castlehill harbour and much, much more.

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 7 pm - 9 pm 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

May - June

40th Anniversary Photography Competition

As part of the activities to celebrate the 40th birthday of Castletown Heritage Society we are holding a Photography Competition. Our aim is to encourage children and young adults to become more aware of our wonderful Caithness landscapes, people and heritage.

The competition is open to all amateur photographers aged 17 years or under and is free to enter.

Full details, rules and entry form can be downloaded HERE, requested by email, or collected from Castlehill Heritage Centre.

Saturday 11th May

10.30am - 1pm

Introduction to Fused Glass

A hands-on workshop led by Shelagh Swanson.

Suitable for complete beginners , this class will introduce you to the basics of fused glass! You will be led step by step through the process, including glass cutting, designing, assembling and decorating your glass with Bullseye.

During this class you can choose to make either a set of 4 coasters, a tile or a selection of wall hangings/suncatchers. Some technical information will be provided so you understand the process, but this is definitely still a fun and informal class. Items can be shaped into a small bowl or a standing piece for a charge of £5 items will be fused in a kiln then made available for pick up or returned by post.

Tea/coffee/Juice will be served. Age 12 and up. Course Fee of £50 includes all instruction, materials, postage and refreshments!

To find out more and book your place, click HERE

Monday 20th May

7.30pm

Premier of film on Ramsay MacDonald

The far north premier of a new and unique film by Yvonne Findlay of Creative Visions Moray about Ramsay MacDonald, the UK's first Labour Prime Minister. The film is based on original cine footage and exclusive family photos, revealing personal insights to Ramsay as a loving family man and also wonderful footage of Lossiemouth's fishing community circa 1920.

Growing up in Lossiemouth, Ramsay received an excellent Scottish education and the fishing community provided an enduring moral compass for his controversial life in politics.

Entry free - Donations most welcome. To find out more and register interest, click HERE

Saturday 25th May

1pm - 4pm

North Highland Woodturners Public Demonstration

A public demonstration event at Castlehill Heritage Centre, including a demonstration by Mark Sutton of Nott-Us Woodturning. This is a demonstration not to be missed!!

To find out more and register interest, click HERE

COMPLETED 2024 EVENTS

Wednesday 24 April

7.30pm

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Castletown Heritage Society will be held at Castlehill Heritage Centre on Wednesday 24th April 2024 at 7.30pm.

Guest speakers for the evening will be Angela and Isobel from Above and Beyond Tours of Caithness.

All welcome to attend.

Tuesday 12 March

7.30pm

Evening talk on RSPB Forsinard and the Flow Country

An illustrated evening talk by Milly Revill Hayward of the RSPB offering an introduction to peatlands and the Flow Country in Caithness and Sutherland.

Milly will reveal the importance of the peatlands, the threats they're facing and the RSPB’s ongoing work to restore them.

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.

Tuesday 27 February

7.30pm

Evening talk on RAF Castletown

The outbreak of World War II thrust Caithness into the front line, not least due to the threat of German invasion from Norway. In late 1939 the site for a new airfield for fighter aircraft was chosen at Castletown and, on 7 June 1940, just one day before the fall of Norway, RAF Castletown became an operational fighter station of No 13 Group, Fighter Command.

Drew Guttridge reveals the fascinating story of RAF Castletown - its birth, facilities, operations and demise.

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!