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TITLE
Harbour and Castle at Helmsdale
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_5608
PLACENAME
Helmsdale
DISTRICT
Kildonan, Loth and Clyne
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Kildonan
PERIOD
1930s; 1940s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
37232
KEYWORDS
postcards
harbours
castles
Isobel Sinclair
poisoning
murders
Harbour and Castle at Helmsdale

This postcard shows the harbour and castle, Helmsdale.

Helmsdale harbour was originally constructed in 1818. It was extended in 1823 and again in 1892. By the turn of the 19th century, over 200 herring boats operated from the harbour. Today, it is still a working harbour with fishing vessels based at the port.

The castle occupied a commanding position at the top of a steep bank at the mouth of the Helmsdale River. It is said to have been erected in 1488 by the 7th Countess of Sutherland, with improvements and repairs by Sir Alexander Gordon of Navidale in 1616.

In 1567 Isobel Sinclair, aunt of the 11th Earl of Sutherland, in an attempt to make her son Earl poisoned her nephew and his wife and tried to poison their son but her own son drank the poison and died. She killed herself before being executed.

Nothing remains of the castle. The ruins were removed in 1970 to make way for a new road and bridge. A monument has been erected in the car park near the site.

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Harbour and Castle at Helmsdale

SUTHERLAND: Kildonan

1930s; 1940s

postcards; harbours; castles; Isobel Sinclair; poisoning; murders

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows the harbour and castle, Helmsdale.<br /> <br /> Helmsdale harbour was originally constructed in 1818. It was extended in 1823 and again in 1892. By the turn of the 19th century, over 200 herring boats operated from the harbour. Today, it is still a working harbour with fishing vessels based at the port.<br /> <br /> The castle occupied a commanding position at the top of a steep bank at the mouth of the Helmsdale River. It is said to have been erected in 1488 by the 7th Countess of Sutherland, with improvements and repairs by Sir Alexander Gordon of Navidale in 1616.<br /> <br /> In 1567 Isobel Sinclair, aunt of the 11th Earl of Sutherland, in an attempt to make her son Earl poisoned her nephew and his wife and tried to poison their son but her own son drank the poison and died. She killed herself before being executed.<br /> <br /> Nothing remains of the castle. The ruins were removed in 1970 to make way for a new road and bridge. A monument has been erected in the car park near the site.