A little History; The Golspie Inn, Golspie and Sutherland
he Golspie Inn has been in existence for over 200 years and has recently reverted back to its original name having been known as the Sutherland Arms Hotel. It is of historic importance locally, was the first bar in Sutherland and boasts the oldest postbox in Scotland, dating back to 1861.
The crest with two shields at the top of our web pages , seen here, is the original coat of arms clearly marked on the wall above the entrance to the reception and shows the date 1808 pointing to the heritage of this important building.
Golspie lies on the east coast of Sutherland, mid way between Loch Fleet and Brora on the main road north. Originally a small fishing hamlet Golspie was, like many villages on the east Sutherland coast, expanded in the early nineteenth century to house some of those evicted from the inland straths and glens during the clearances. Fishing was the main industry, but the opening of the railway in 1868 brought the first tourists to the area.
Golspie today is an attractive little seaside resort with much for the visitor to see and do. The village boasts a long sandy beach and there a number of scenic walks around the area, including one at the Big Burn with its spectacular waterfalls.
There are a number of historic buildings too, including St Andrews church dating from the sixteenth century and, most famously, Dunrobin Castle. This is one of the grandest houses in the north of Scotland and is situated just north of the village. It is believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited homes in Britain, the oldest part of the castle dating from the early fourteenth century. As well as the castle itself, Dunrobin is known for its formal gardens.
It was the early Viking settlers who came to Caithness that named everything to the south “The Southlands” which is how Sutherland came by its name. However, Sutherland’s history goes back much further than this.
There is evidence of man’s activities throughout the county from prehistoric times. Stone Age and Bronze Age man have left their mark throughout the area, as have the Picts and the Scots. The remains of their buildings and monuments can be seen wherever you go.
Since those ancient times, small communities grew up throughout the county with the people living off the land. Families worked small parcels of land and tended to a few animals, and this simple way of life continued relatively undisturbed until the early eighteenth century.
But following the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, the Highlands and its people were persecuted. Then in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century the people that once inhabited the remote glens and straths were forced out by the landowners and replaced with more profitable sheep. The infamous Highland clearances took place over a number of years where many of Sutherland’s population were forced to move from their land to coastal villages or to further lands to start up a new life. The ruined remains of their homes and entire villages can still be seen to this day across the county.