12 April 2014Cromarty Man in the Yukon

Following a short AGM, the final talk of the season is given by Paul Monk, Curator and Chair of Trustees at Cromarty Courthouse Museum. Paul trained a as a geographer and geologist and worked in education for many years. Following early retirement, he developed a second career as a museum curator in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire and moved to Cromarty in 2008.

Paul’s talk follows Sutherland Murray’s gold prospecting career in the Yukon between 1898 and 1905. Sutherland subsequently lived for a number of years with his sister in St Ann’s, one of the fine old merchant’s houses on Church Street in Cromarty. Having access to his unpublished photograph collection, Paul takes us on a fascinating journey with a man who is still remembered by some of the older residents in Cromarty as ‘the one-eyed, one-armed gold digger’!

After this final talk, Cromarty History Society has a summer break and resumes on Thursday 18th September 2014. Thank you to all our speakers for another fabulous season of talks and our members and supporters for continuing to come along to meetings. We look forward to seeing you all in the Autumn.

09 April 2014Groam House Lectures Announced


The venue for the Annual Academic Lecture on THURSDAY 26th June at 7.30pm is

Fortrose Community Theatre (Fortrose Academy), Deans Rd, Fortrose, IV10 8TJ (01381 621252)

All other lectures are on Tuesdays at Seaforth Lodge, Station Square, Fortrose, IV10 8SZ at 7.30pm.

Admission to all lectures £4 (Members/Students £2).


29 April       From Neolithic times to the Present via George Bain: Ian Begg

27 May       The Black Isle Railway: Jack Kernahan


                 Dying a Pict: barrows, carved stones and the landscape:

                 Dr Adrián  Maldonaldo, Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Chester

29 July      The Archaeology of Fortriu – recent discoveries in Easter Ross:  Candy Hatherley, University of Aberdeen

26 August   From hunter gatherers to Robert Bruce – the Archaeology of Tarradale in the west of the Black Isle

                 Dr Eric Grant, Tarradale

16 September  Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project 2013 and 2014

                 Steven Birch, West Coast Archaeological Services

29 March 2014Highland Heritage Festival

Sat 26th April, Dingwall Academy, 10am-4pm

Family Festival celebrating Highland Community Archaeology, with fun for the whole family!

Highland & National Heritage Stalls

Hands-on Activities & Workshops for Children and Adults

Craft Demonstrations

Heritage Marketplace with books & crafts and much more...

For further details see www.archhighland.org.uk or leave message on 01349 868230



13 March 2014The Murchisons of Tarradale - our March meeting

Eric Grant read geography at Aberdeen University, gained a Ph.D in Historical Geography followed by a master’s course in Archaeology at Cambridge University. Eric has good reason to have a deep interest and knowledge of the Tarradale Estate. He stayed at Tarradale House, on the north bank of the River Beauly many times when it was a University Field Centre, and since 2003 has had the “good fortune” to live there, having spent several years converting it back to a comfortable home.!

This talk will be about the emergence of Tarradale as a landholding from the mists of the middle ages and how Dr Kenneth Murchison bought it and improved it with Indian sourced money. His son, Sir Roderick Murchison, the eminent Victorian geologist and friend of Hugh Miller, sold the estate in the nineteenth century and Tarradale became part of a bigger landholding with the estate mansion, Tarradale House, becoming a separate unit with a fascinating history of its own.! 

13 February 2014Cromarty Archaeology Report

The dramatic storms and high tides of December 2012 eroded an area of shore below the Reeds Park in Cromarty, exposing layers of shell midden, ash and soil in which fish bone, animal bone and broken medieval pottery were found. Steven Birch, who lives in Cromarty and is director of West Coast Archaeological Services saw the potential of further investigation and the Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project was set up. The fieldwork culminated in a hugely successful excavation in the summer of 2013, with volunteers of all ages enjoying the experience of working alongside professional archeologists.

This talk will bring us up to date with the findings of the dig and plans for the project in 2014.




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