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Spittal Quarry

Quarrying has been carried on at Spittal for over 100 years, part of a long tradition in extracting the famous Caithness flagstone from the beds that are 370 million years old.

The firm of A & D Sutherland took over the quarry in the 1960's and have worked it ever since carrying on the log tradition of extracting high quality paving that has been used in cites all over the UK and across the world.

The quality of the Caithness flag is renowned for its hardness and durability.  the physical properties of the Spittal flagstone has been tested by independent consultants and shown to be among the top grades of flag.

The natural properties of flagstone mean that colour varies across the stone but has the look of strength of the rock from which it has been lifted.  Different colour variations occur at different depths across the quarry.

Due to the elevation of the Spittal quarry less fossils are found than would be found in lower quarries such as Achanarras where the original sea level would have meant sea creatures would have gone when they were trapped by the receding waters over the millenia.

18 men currently work at the quarry on a variety of tasks involved in digging, cutting and finishing the stones for orders.

Pictures - Bill Fernie