Cape Wrath  Sutherland


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Cape Wrath like this:

Cape Wrath, a promontory in Durness parish, Sutherland, at the north-western extremity of the Scottish mainland, 13 miles WNW of Durness church. Pyramidal in form, it rises boldly from the sea to an altitude of 300 feet; it consists of granite gneiss; it is crowned with a lighthouse, built in 1828 at a cost of £13,550, showing a revolving light every minute, alternately red and white, visible at the distance of 27 nautical miles; and it commands a magnificent view of the Sutherland coast and of the seas around, away to the Butt of Lewis and the Hoy Head of Orkney. ...

Rocky islets lie adjacent to it; a fissured and cavernous reef projects from its base; a lofty insulated rock, with outline rudely resembling that of a large ship under full sail, is in its near vicinity; and wall-like cliffs, 250 to 600 feet high, and pierced with caverns, stretch away from it eastward and southward 'This dread cape,' wrote Sir Walter Scott (1814), ' so fatal to mariners, is a high promontory whose steep sides go sheer down to the breakers which lash its feet. There is no landing, except in a small creek about 1½ mile to the eastward. There the foam of the sea plays at "long bowls" with a huge collection of large stones, some of them a ton in weight, but which these fearful billows chuck up and down as a child tosses a ball. '

Cape Wrath through time

Cape Wrath is now part of Highland district. Click here for graphs and data of how Highland has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Cape Wrath itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cape Wrath, in Highland and Sutherland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 22nd May 2024

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