History Group headlines

We welcome any suggestions of improvements to the chapters we are creating as these have been compiled from research done through the internet, libraries, museums and conversations with residents and the memorabilia they have been prepared to share with us. The authors are well aware that they might well have missed significant sources of information and would be keen to talk to anyone who may be interested in helping rectify this. If any of the photographs that appear on this site cause offence then please let us know so that we can remove them. Care is taken to ensure that donors of photographs appreciate that we will make use of them in a way to further the aims of the project and this will include the use of Facebook.

Contact can be made through history@culbokiect.org

December 2018

We have added a link, on our own page, to the Facebook page "Culbokie Senior Citizens' Christmas Party" which has a selection of photos and videos of yesterday's lunch (1st December 2018) plus some from previous parties. We are currently working on producing a history of the event which started in 1996.


1. Another successful Autumn talk this time from Lachlan Mackeggie who showed us a sample of the crop marks he photographed from a 90 minute gyro-copter flight around the Black Isle. He then finished up with a demonstration of some of the powerful mapping techniques that are available for displaying recorded historical sites.

2. We have renamed the page "Groups associated with Culbokie" to "Community Activities". This has allowed us to include pages for "Community Market", "Culbokie Senior Citizens' Christmas Meal" and "Culbokie Gathering/Coolbokie". These last two will hopefully attract offers of photographs as my own collections are rather thin on the ground.


1. Photographs of the Culbokie Social Badminton Club have been posted in the section "Groups associated with Culbokie".  "Community Activities"

2. A page has been set-up to record the activities of the Pantomime Group; much more material is hopefully in the pipe-line.

3. On the subject of photographs we are interested in recording modern changes to the village which will in turn become an historical record of this Community. So please feel free to share with us your photographs through history@culbokiect.org.

4. The War Memorial and School pages have been updated with a picture and the story attached of a piece of paper found behind the panelling of the old school when it was being prepared for conversion into the Church.

5. Photographs are posted of the HAF Open Day and can be found here.  After a slow start a total of 15 visited the site and were most impressed. The temporary improved access from the B9169 was most welcome.


1. Photographs of the installation of an access to the henge can be viewed here. My thanks to Gordon and Allan for their sterling efforts and to David Keith for allowing us vehicular access and the use of some proper fencing tools. Our special thanks go to Donald McLarty for the generous donation of the timber materials. We also managed to clear a fair bit of gorse including some stumps and in my opinion there is no need for a further visit prior to the Open Day. We were very fortunate with the weather with the forecast being inaccurate to our advantage.

Should anyone be tempted to view our handiwork please DON’T use the wooden gate on the B9169 as it is even more dilapidated!  Use the metal gate instead and cross the lawn. An improved Rylock fencing access gateway has been installed after the recent gales destroyed the old gate. 

I am still looking for volunteers to be guides on Wednesday 17th October, please don’t let us down.

2. There is now a page in the Index which will take you to photos of Groups associated with Culbokie. What we need now are more Groups to come forward such as Badminton and Football for example.  I regret that my days of running Scouts in the Findon Hall was pre-digital cameras and that 35mm film was expensive and had to be used sparingly for personal recording. It would be good if some one has photos of the Pantomimes, so if you know whose arm to twist then go ahead.

3. Plans are progressing for the installation of 2 gates to enable better access to the henge. Consequently we are looking for volunteers to assist with the digging of the post holes for the strainers. Please use the above contact address to offer your services. We will circulate the date/s that might suit the majority. The carpentry involved is organised using materials that have been kindly donated to the Group. If digging doesn't suit you fitness then there are the strimmings from the last visit to collect and remove from the site in anticipation of the Open Day, (see below).

4. Watch this space for details of our Autumn talk that we will try and organise for the end of October, start of November.


The Henge working party made good progress but ran out of time but a follow up strimming session cleared the worst of the vegetation. It will require 2 more sessions to make the site suitable for the HAF Open Day on Wednesday October 17th so we will be looking for volunteers so watch this space! A view of the current state can be viewed here.  


A plan of Findon Mains showing the names of all the individual fields that make up the farm. This has been added to the Gallery at the end of the Summary to the Chapter on Rural Life, Farming and Crofting.

The Henge working party will be led by Cara Jones, Project Manager for Adopt-a-Monument from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 21st July. We will be clearing annual weeds such as dockans and Rosebay willow herb and treating stumps of Gorse and brambles. Any additional volunteers will be made most welcome, just provide yourself with strong shoes and gloves, loppers and pruners etc. There should be sufficient strimmers for the purpose. Parking is limited and must not encroach on any maintained lawn grass.


A date has now been fixed for a working party under the guidance of Adopt-a-Monument archaeologist, Saturday 21st July. Details of time etc will be posted and circulated, watch this space.

At our meeting on the 4th June considerable progress was made with the planning for the continued maintenance of the Teanagairn Henge. We have offered to hold an Open Day on the Wednesday 17th October as part of the Highland Archaeology Fortnight and several work parties will be involved in strimming and spraying to take advantage of the hard work we did last year.

We are convinced that there is much more mileage to be gained in pursuing an archive of photographs. The School photographs have been a success and we will be pursuing Clubs and Groups in the hope that they will allow us access to their scrapbooks and photographs etc. Often one of the benefits of digitising old photographs for families is that it allows the images to be shared amongst family members and might even restore them to a better condition. There are plans in progress to assemble photographs of modern Culbokie with the view that eventually they will become an historical record themselves, especially if they capture planned changes.

Some thought was given to a late Autumn talk and this will be pursued. 


28th May We have had a request from Sally Weller for information of her Great Grandparents James Shaw and Maggie Smith (her mother was Janet Gray) who were married at Dunvournie in June 1893 by the Reverend Alexander McQuarrie. She can be contacted through sallywella@aol.com  

A date for your diary: Monday June 4th 7pm - a get-together at Cnocmisan, Culbokie, the home of Pam Draper. This gives us the opportunity to discuss the way forward with the Teanagairn Henge and further researches. We have heard from the Adopt-a-monument archaeologist who is prepared to organise a working party on the henge.

Another date for your diary, Wednesday 17th October. We have committed ourselves to holding a repeat Open Day during the Highland Archaeology Festival from 10am to 4 pm. We will be looking for guides to man 3 shifts of 2 hours duration. Handouts will be available so you don't have to be knowledgeable about the site, although it would help.


A new page "A headteacher's scrapbook" has been created as part of the "Village School" pages. It contains a selection of class photographs taken from the scrapbook created by Stuart Greaves during his time from 1982 to 1998. 

The history of the family Kemps has been created and is accessed through the index.

The "Historical Drive-through" gallery has been extended to include the properties of Tore Farm, Crochar, Teanagairn Cottage and Dunvournie Cottages.

The "Miscellaneous" page has new material. Identities have been added for the wedding photograph of Tom and Jean Stewart as so many of the guests were Culbokie locals. A photograph of former head teacher, Stuart Greaves, receiving his retirement present from the pupils has been posted here and in the Group photographs. The names of the pupils would be welcome at history@culbokiect.org. The tributes that were published in the local press on the death of Harry Windsor, Culbokie Football Club, have been posted.

The "Descendants of Culbokie" page for Thomas Ross is constantly being expanded and a very interesting range of photographs from 1913 have been added. There are still on-going investigations into the various locations involved.


Significant changes to the "Descendants of Culbokie" pages. Some very interesting material has arrived from Ottawa which necessitated a re-think of how to present the information. Each submission will have it's own page and be linked from an index.

More school photos have been added and there are some missing names that require establishing.

The Findon Hall chapter has been updated with new material detailing the work of the Templars in fund-raising to build the Hall.

More items are being added to the War Memorials chapter.

The latest photographs of the beaker and remnant are now available through the Archaeology page.

The school photograph of 1936 now has some names added, so hopefully this will encourage others to identify their relatives etc.

The updated school chapter is now available and the chapter on the Findon Hall is in the process of being updated. Several items of interest relating to the Templar organisation in the village at the start of the 1900s have come to hand and are being processed.

January 2018

A link has been provided on the "Parish of Urquhart and Logie Wester" page to a description of the original church.

The school photographs of 1936 and 1939 have had a response from Australia who have identified their mother, June Morrison. Hopefully this will lead to more identities and stories. June was born in the Culbokie Inn in 1930 and her grandfather, Hugh Morrison was the licensee. We have now had some of the missing names provided and some questions answered.

The summary page for the Village School chapter has been updated to display a gallery of interior classroom photographs taken in the 1970s.


A busy month! Another school photograph of Culbokie School pupils in 1936 has been posted on the page "Group photographs associated with Culbokie" which can be found in the Culbokie History index.

Very exciting, we have managed to get photographs of the beaker that was found in the cist at Findon Mains in the 1930s. These can be viewed from the Archaeology pages as can a new page relating to Kinbeachie Castle. There has always been access to material from excavations at Kinbeachie Farm but a new survey by NOSAS in March 2017 of the castle required an update to this section. The carved stone referred to at Meikle Findon is on private ground and the steadings are in dangerous condition.

Two new additions; first a school photograph of Culbokie School c1961 in which we would like some faces identified, and secondly, following a discussion on Facebook as to whether there had been a poor house in Culbokie we have added more detailed information about the Poor on the page relating to the history of Urquhart and Logie Wester.

The page “Help us solve these mysteries” in the Culbokie History Index has been changed to “Photographs of Groups associated with Culbokie.” This better reflects the content which has been added to by the inclusion of a labelled photograph of the Cromarty Resolis Urquhart (CRU) Young Farmers club.

A photograph of the pupils of Culbokie Primary School in the summer of 1961 has been posted here along with the known names as supplied by Angus Bethune. We would appreciate knowing the missing names which can be forwarded to history@culbokiect.org. Consideration is being given to changing the page name in the hope it will attract more attention and that more group photos will be submitted.

The design of the proposed Interpretation Panel for the Càrn Mòr Dùn has been added at the start of the gallery of photos.

Following on from the talk "Our language in the landscape" two chapters have been created from the presentation; "Gaelic speakers in the Urquhart and Logie Wester Civil Parish 1881 - 2011"  and "The background to Knockvisichan".


An excellent talk from Ken MacKinnon, Ferintosh entitled “Our language in the landscape” or “Cnoc, Knock, who’s there – Somebody digging up place-names.”

A new page "A Red Kite's view" has been posted on the home page of the Trust. It is a compilation of photos taken by Black Isle Images.

A new series of photographs of the Càrn Mòr Dùn have been posted here. They are at the end of the Gallery.

Advanced notice of the NOSAS Weekend Conference 23rd - 25th March 2018. This is to celebrate their 20th birthday and will feature on the Saturday in the Highland Copuncil Chambers, "Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards" a review of the past 20 years. Further details can be found on the website: www.nosas.co.uk/20Years.asp


The Open day at the Teanagairn henge, as part of the Highland Archaeology Festival, went very well. We had nineteen visitors who were very generous in their praise for our efforts in drawing attention to this spectacular site. We knew it was special, but hadn’t fully appreciated how highly rated it is amongst the archaeological world. We learnt a lot about what needs to be done in the future to secure the accessibility of the site for the future and it has given us enthusiasm for the work that will have to be done in the Spring to ensure that we never have to work as hard again as we did this year. Otherwise we might never be able to call up the number of volunteers that have made themselves available this year. Mind you, in good conditions, as those we experienced on the Open Day, it is a fantastic site to work on and your thoughts easily drift back through the millennia.


29th A very successful session in perfect weather conditions. A squad of 9 made a major improvement to the site in readieness for the Open day. The results can be viewed here.

CCT presence at the COOLbokie gathering 'manned' by Alison and Lesley who managed to retreat under cover whenever the heavy showers came over. A good range of History material was available and and the History web site quizzes weren't exactly flying off the table.

A start was made on clearing the growth, since May, from the Teanagairn Henge. Phil and Becky cut the last of the remaining Gorse and a fair amount of Rosebay Willow Herb was strimmed. Another working party is being organised prior to the HAF Drop-in Day when we will definitely require lopping, pruning and carrying people to ensure that the site is presentable. If you are reading this and not on our History Group email circulation list and want to volunteer then contact us on history@culbokiect.org . A decision has to be made as to when we will be spraying.


A new page "Descendants of Culbokie" can be accessed from the "Culbokie History Index" page. This will be used to showcase information sent to us from descendants of former residents of Culbokie and the surrounding area. The first features the researches of Ruth and Paris Major, Martha's Vinyard, MA. We would be delighted to hear from other researchers.


1. A link has been added in the chapter on the history of Urquhart and Logie Wester Parish to a gallery of photographs. They were taken in February 2012 when the church was being stripped down in readiness for it to be converted into a private house. The marble plaques were taken down and have since been damaged, but, importantly, the two brass plaques which weren't in position to be photographed have since been lost. However, enquiries are being made and if anyone has any information about the location we would be interested to hear about it. Contact can be made through history@culbokiect.org.

2. A copy of the A3 2-fold History leaflet has been entered into the Document Library and can be accessed here

3. The obituary to Annie Smith Mackenzie, whose book, "Earth's crammed with Heaven" provided us with very useful material, is available through the Rural Life chapter.


A working party of volunteers under the guidance of archaeologists from Adopt a Monument made very good progress with the clearing of a massive amount of vegetation from the henge as can be seen in this gallery of photographs. The archaeologists are very excited by the exposure of a feature, in the centre of the henge, that has not been recorded before. We have been given the go-ahead to continue the clearance unsupervised which will entail the removal of the last strip of gorse on the south-west outer rim and further strimming of the grass/dockans/rosebay willow herb etc.

The archaeologists will now report to Historic Scotland to get guidance as to the removal of the stumps of gorse, we could only use loppers and a saw. This will be done chemically on a return visit.

Early May

I have now been able to create the nucleus of a working party to clear the vegetation from the Teanagairn henge on Monday 22nd May starting at 10am. We will be working under the guidance of the archaeologists from Adopt a Monument (AaM) which is part of Archaeology Scotland, who will be providing tools.

You can visualise what can be expected and what we would hope to achieve by working through the slide show on this page http://www.culbokiect.org/index.asp?pageid=641549

The toughest vegetation can be seen on the slide “June 2016 – rather overgrown”. This is a mixture of gorse and broom etc  but the good thing is that all the material is to be thrown over the fence behind Roland’s head (the gentleman on the right of the photo), obviously with the landowner’s permission. Derek Hannan.

The next toughest material will be raspberry canes and dockans.  As you can clearly see from the photos preceding “June 2016” the ground is uneven and there is evidence of rabbit burrows so it isn’t going to be smooth going.  The archaeologists did suggest that they might do some surveying using the plane table method but we’ll have to see if that materialises – it will be very interesting for those of us who haven’t experienced the technique.

The 4th, 5th and 6th slides show the access point to the path leading to the henge. Parking is restricted so if you are interested in joining us then please contact me on roger.piercy167@btinternet.com and I can give details of the parking arrangements.

Over to you and your friends and family. The more the merrier.


1.Three hours of solid Munro history were enjoyed by a select group who were entertained by Hector Munro of Foulis on our visit this morning. Go to this page to see photographs of the visit.

2. Don’t forget there is a CCT social pub night at the Culbokie Inn on Wednesday (29th March). Martin and Penny will be there from about 8pm. Hope to see some of you – with partners or friends.


1. A useful meeting on the 28th, however the numbers were down slightly, we could still do with more folk showing an interest and sharing their support for the various projects. The visit to the Teanagairn Henge with Adopt-a-Monument (AaM)  in the afternoon was reported on. This proved to be very useful and once we get feedback from AaM we will organise a working party under the guidance of AaM to clear the site of the excessive vegetation and make plans for other improvements which will require the need to apply for funds. However, there will be no shortage of support as the archaelogists are very excited about seeing this henge improved.

2. The web site History pages continue to attract attention claiming about 30% of the total number of page views during February.

3. A chapter on the history of Forestry and it is effect on the life of Culbokie over the years is in draft form for discussion and a chapter on Alcaig is in preparation. Any information that is relevant to these chapters would be most welcome. You know how to contact us! Please don't be shy. Very few of us have any special skills in this department.

4. The 28th March sees a visit to Foulis Castle for a private tour commencing at 10.30am available to the History Group and friends. It would be helpful to know who plans to visit.


1. Meeting on Wednesday 7th, - very productive with 7 of us attending. Plenty of useful discussion with plans drawn up for further work. Next year promises to be interesting with some tours  in the planning stage. The History pages continue to attract significant attention. We can still find research work for any new volunteers and it would be good to spread the "load". The next meeting will be Tuesday 28th February, 7pm. Note the change of day in the hope we can attract more to the meetings. This is the correct date - the entry in the Noticeboard is incorrect!

2. The chapter on "Communications" is now posted with the Summary page being used to display a gallery of photographs of various means of transport and associated items.

3. The "Folklore" chapter has been updated with some more to follow.


A date has now been fixed for our next evening chat, Wednesday 7th December, 7pm, with Carolyn Morrison our host at 16, Balnatua, last house in far right hand corner.

The history of the parish of Logie Wester and Urquhart written by Dr. William Young in 1984 is now available in pdf format. The parishes of Urquhart and Resolis were united in 1977 and the intention is to bring the history up to date.


The guided walk around the Ferintosh Distillery and chambered cairn at Mulchaigh was very successful and interesting. The weather was very kind and no sign of midges which was excellent. A page has been created to display the photographs and a link to the NOSAS page giving the history of the site. A date still has to be fixed for our next evening discussion - watch this space as the agenda is ever increasing!

On Wednesday 5th October, local historian Jim Mackay delivered an excellent a talk "Crossing the Firth - the Ferries of the Black Isle and Easter Ross." A large turn-out of 40 from far and wide enjoyed the talk and we were able to donate £67 to the Kirkmichael Trust funds.









On Saturday 22nd October, we have arranged for Allan Mackenzie to conduct a tour of the old Ferintosh Distillery at Mulchaich Farm. All are welcome, suitable footwear is advised and cars can be parked at the Ferintosh Free Church from where it is only a short walk to the site.


A progress meeting was held at Cnocmisan, Pam Draper's house, and a useful discussion ensued. The Group will now be officially referred to as the "Culbokie History Group" and will always be identified as under the 'umbrella' of the Culbokie Community Trust. The summary leaflet will be produced in 2-fold format for ease of handling and the summaries will need to be re-written to accomodate extra chapters, such as "The Fisher Folk of Findon" which is now available in the list of chapters. Arrangements for the CCT AGM and presentation on the 3rd and Jim Mackay's talk on the 5th were discussed.

We have heard that Adopt-a-Monument are making progress with their application for Leader funding for improvements to the Teanagairn Henge.


The History Group displayed a wide variety of material and a descriptive leaflet of all the Chapters so far compiled was launched.


A constructive and productive meeting was held in which progress on forth-coming chapters was discussed. In the pipe-line we are working on the history of the Culbokie Inn, investigating some of the ghost stories that exist, the history of fishing and forestry. We would like to see people taking on the history of Alcaig and it's association with Culbokie, Transport, War heroes and their stories.

The provision of Information Boards displaying some of the material we have collected was discussed as a long-term project.

The Teanagairn Henge project is waiting for the Adopt a Monument people to get back to us with their proposals/recommendations which will depend on what finances can be tapped into. Some attempt will be made to assess the popularity of a public meeting at the henge.

The table below reveals the interest that our work is attracting on the web site since 1st January 2015. This page has the highest number of hits on the site.



Historical drive through village








The railway


Village centre


Findon Mill




Rural life, farming and crofting



On Wednesday 22nd a visit was made to the Teanagairn Henge in preparation for making decisions as to whether we will create a project to ensure that the henge is in a fit state to be publicised to encourage visitors to what is acclaimed to be a very fine specimen. We have been offered help from NOSAS and Adopt-a-Monument in formulating plans with the possibility that funds will be available from A-a-M. Compared with the aerial photograph shown in the Archeaology Chapter the henge was extremely overgrown and only the adventurous explored the inner structure of the henge.

A follow-up meeting took place on Tuesday 28th to enable the A-a-M representative to see what was likely to be involved in opening up the visibility and access to the henge. It was very useful and A-a-M are already making plans to acquire funding for us. We hope to receive their thoughts on how we progress the work which will have to be carried out under their supervision and guidance.

Our next informal meeting will be held in Pam Draper's house Cnocmisan on Wednesday 20th July. The agenda will include discussion on the progress with the preparation of further chapters of Culbokie History, the Teanagairn Henge, the provision and siting of an Information Board in the village


The "Culbokie Treasures" talk by Cait McCullagh was extremely interesting and was well attended, especially as it was a glorious evening, weather-wise.
















The mystery object was a 2cm piece of gold that formed part of a hair piece embellishment in Medieval times.

A very interesting web site has been drawn to our attention which features many photographs of interest to this project. It is the site of the Ross and Cromarty Heritage Society which has its headquarters in Maryburgh and can be accessed through www.rossandcromartyheritage.org. You have to select the community of "Ferintosh" and work your way through to the photographs. It is well worth a visit.

Next Saturday, 21st May, Archaeology Day, there will guided tours by Dr. Jim Mackay, of the Old Cullicudden Churchyard, details can be found in the Ross-shire Journal, May 13th. It is advised to phone 01381 620575 to book as places are limited due to parking constraints.





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