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Scottish Gaelic: Dùnaid
Dunnet (Scotland)

Dunnet shown within Scotland
OS grid reference ND221713
Council area Highland
Lieutenancy area Caithness
Constituent country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town THURSO
Postcode district KW14
Dialling code 01847
Police Northern
Fire Highlands and Islands
Ambulance Scottish
European Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
Scottish Parliament Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross constituency in the Highlands and Islands electoral region
List of places: UKScotland

Coordinates: 58°37'N 3°20'W? / ?58.62, -3.34

Dunnet (grid reference ND221713) is a village in Caithness, in the Highland area of Scotland. It is within the Parish of Dunnet.

The village centres on the A836B855 road junction. The A836 leads towards John o' Groats in the east and toward Thurso and Tongue in the west. (At the junction however the road's alignment is much more north-south than east-west.) The B855 leads toward Brough and Dunnet Head point in the north.

CH Haygarth & Sons, Gun & Rifle Makers, are situated on the A836 on the Eastern side of the Village, they are Scotland's oldest practicing Gunmakers & cartridge loaders & are unusual in that they are still owned & run by Colin & his 2nd son, Ross, marking the business its 3rd generation of ownership by the Haygarth Clan. They were the Queen Mother's gunsmiths from 1964 until her death. The building was the site of the original village shop, owned by the Begg family, which closed in the mid-50's. The property was built in 1900.

The Northern Sands Hotel is located on a A836, adjacant to the village church. It is a small, family-run hotel with 9 bedrooms, a large dining room, a large car park & 2 bars. It was originally called The Golf Links Hotel, there being a links course between Dunnet & Castletown that fell into disuse during WW2. It is locally owned.

The village has a hall, The Britannia Hall, which is run by a commitee, it is used for a variety of activities including a children's nursery, an indoor bowling club, a badminton club & the Post Office visits twice a week, on Wedensday afternoons & Saturdays. Its main fund raising activity each year for the upkeep of the hall is the Marymas Fair, held in late August on a nearby farm field, it has the usual attractions such as Highland Dancing, a display of vintage & classic cars & motorcycles, bonniest baby, home baking, tossing the wheatsheaf, line dancing, face painting, raffles, tug o' war etc.

The House Of The Northern Gate (sometimes called Dwarick House) sits in a commanding position on Dunnet head, overlooking the West side of the village. It is thought to have been built by the Sinclairs of Freswick, who owned a great deal of the village historically. It was later owned by Admral North, then from the 1930's to the late 50's, by Commander Clair Vyner & his wife Lady Doris Vyner. They used it as a summer residence & ran the local salmon station. Lady Vyner was a close friend of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother & invited her to stay at the house in 1953. During her stay, she looked East out of one of the upper floor windows & spied the tower of the recently-vacated Barrogill Castle, 3 miles (4.8 km) away. Upon enquiring about the castle, a visit was arranged to veiw it, it was owned by Mr & Mrs Imbert-Terry, an eccentric couple who's family reputedly owned Terry's chocolate factory in York. A deal was struck to buy the rather dilpadated castle & Longoe Mains farm for a reported £6,000. The Queen Mother renamed it The Castle Of Mey, its original name. The House Of The Northern Gate was made into a Hotel by Bill Dodd in the 60's & owned by a Mr Divanian Gold in the 70's, a flamboyant Jewish fashon clothes manufacturer from Manchester, who used it as a summer home. He later tried to sell building plots on its land, but the council vetoed the project on grounds of drainage & sewerage difficulties, due to the fact that the land is flow country or blanket bog. In the late 70's it came on the market again & the Rock band Led Zeppelin veiwed it several times with a veiw to making it into a recording studio, a possible reason for this is the fact that guitarist Jimmy Page already owned Boleskin House, for many years the home of notorious occultist & white witch Ailester Crowley, near Foyers on the South bank of Loch Ness & was a frequent visitor to Caithness. During this period, scenes from a horror film were recorded using the outside of the house as a backdrop. The house was empty until the mid-80's, when a family from Kent bought it & made it into a private residence again. It has 1,800 acres (7.3 km²) of land, 2 lochs, a small pier & a small beach, "The Peedie Sannie" (The small beach).

Dunnet Church is near the road junction and has documented history dating from 1230.

Dunnet is at the north/northeast end of Dunnet Beach, which extends across three miles (five kilometres) towards Castletown (ND196678).

Dunnet Forest (ND226701) is south of the village and east of the here southward A836.

St John's Loch (ND226722), known also as Dunnet Loch, is north-east of the village.

(Source: Wikipedia)
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