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TITLE
The Chalet, Knockfarrel, Strathpeffer
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_1141
PLACENAME
Strathpeffer
DISTRICT
Dingwall
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Fodderty
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
33064
KEYWORDS
postcards
Ross-shire
Ross and Cromarty
chalets
tea rooms
cafes
restaurants
spa towns
spa resorts
hills
hill forts
The Chalet, Knockfarrel, Strathpeffer

This postcard shows a chalet built around 1910 near the Knockfarrel summit, two miles east of Strathpeffer. About 1905 two sisters by the name of Cameron had set up a tent in the vicinity where they served teas and home baking to visitors to the Victorian spa resort of Strathpeffer. The 'tea room' proved so successful that a few years later the Cromartie Estate provided the Misses Cameron with a round wooden chalet topped with a weather vane and surrounded by a veranda divided into bays. Wooden shutters could be lowered to form tables for outside guests who wanted to take in the magnificent views. The Chalet was built by forestry workers employed by the Earl of Cromartie and working in the area at the time.

The chalet continued in business until 1952 when it was burnt down. The story goes that three boys were seen running over the summit towards Dingwall at the time.

Knockfarrel is a small conical hill, 579ft (190m) high. Almost perpendicular on its north and south sides, the conglomerate rock stands at the end of a ridge called Druim Chat ('the Cat's Back') and is topped by the remains of a vitrified Iron Age hill-fort. A level oval space, with outworks at each end, is surrounded by huge masses of vitrified stone, once a line of ramparts. Within that area are traces of further vitrified structures and the remains of an old well. It has been suggested that Knockfarrel might be the remains of one of Fingal's chief habitations, as celebrated by Ossian.

Several theories attempt to explain the vitrification process. One is that the vitrification resulted from the burning of timbered buildings, perhaps by a neighbouring clan. Another is that the fort was originally constructed of loose stones as a place of defence, while its commanding position made it also a suitable beacon station. Beacon fires may at some point have acted by chance on a combination of stones with flux, thus revealing the secret of vitrification.

Knockfarrel is typical of hills on which vitrified forts occur, being conspicuous and commanding an extensive view. Further examples occur at Ord Hill, North Kessock, and at Craig Phadrig, near Inverness. From the top of Knockfarrel can be seen, to the east, the Cromarty Firth and Sutors of Cromarty; to the south, Loch Ussie, in which lies the stone by which the Brahan Seer foretold the future; to the west, the hills of Wester Ross; and to the north, Ben Wyvis, with the valley of Strathpeffer in the foreground.

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The Chalet, Knockfarrel, Strathpeffer

ROSS: Fodderty

postcards; Ross-shire; Ross and Cromarty; chalets; tea rooms; cafes; restaurants; spa towns; spa resorts; hills; hill forts

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows a chalet built around 1910 near the Knockfarrel summit, two miles east of Strathpeffer. About 1905 two sisters by the name of Cameron had set up a tent in the vicinity where they served teas and home baking to visitors to the Victorian spa resort of Strathpeffer. The 'tea room' proved so successful that a few years later the Cromartie Estate provided the Misses Cameron with a round wooden chalet topped with a weather vane and surrounded by a veranda divided into bays. Wooden shutters could be lowered to form tables for outside guests who wanted to take in the magnificent views. The Chalet was built by forestry workers employed by the Earl of Cromartie and working in the area at the time.<br /> <br /> The chalet continued in business until 1952 when it was burnt down. The story goes that three boys were seen running over the summit towards Dingwall at the time. <br /> <br /> Knockfarrel is a small conical hill, 579ft (190m) high. Almost perpendicular on its north and south sides, the conglomerate rock stands at the end of a ridge called Druim Chat ('the Cat's Back') and is topped by the remains of a vitrified Iron Age hill-fort. A level oval space, with outworks at each end, is surrounded by huge masses of vitrified stone, once a line of ramparts. Within that area are traces of further vitrified structures and the remains of an old well. It has been suggested that Knockfarrel might be the remains of one of Fingal's chief habitations, as celebrated by Ossian.<br /> <br /> Several theories attempt to explain the vitrification process. One is that the vitrification resulted from the burning of timbered buildings, perhaps by a neighbouring clan. Another is that the fort was originally constructed of loose stones as a place of defence, while its commanding position made it also a suitable beacon station. Beacon fires may at some point have acted by chance on a combination of stones with flux, thus revealing the secret of vitrification. <br /> <br /> Knockfarrel is typical of hills on which vitrified forts occur, being conspicuous and commanding an extensive view. Further examples occur at Ord Hill, North Kessock, and at Craig Phadrig, near Inverness. From the top of Knockfarrel can be seen, to the east, the Cromarty Firth and Sutors of Cromarty; to the south, Loch Ussie, in which lies the stone by which the Brahan Seer foretold the future; to the west, the hills of Wester Ross; and to the north, Ben Wyvis, with the valley of Strathpeffer in the foreground.