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Latheron Castle

The only remaining part of the castle is today incorporated in the garage of Latheron Mains Farmhouse, the garage was built in the 1970s.  The castle was originally built on the steep bank of the Latheron burn.  The building was still standing to a large extent in 1726, but ruinous.  Andrew Sutherland’s account of ca. 1717 states on this: “Another ruin of unknown age and purpose was situated beside the Burn of Lathron opposite the house of Easter Lathron, (possibly the original Mains Farmhouse this building still stands next to the lambing sheds of Latheron Mains Farm) where lived a woman Mackenzie, descendant of John Sinclair of Dunbeath.  The ruin, a square structure with rounded corners, had clearly been a place of strength, built on top of a rock 60 feet above the burn. But of its architect or builder, Andrew Sutherland’s inquiries could find no trace.

Latheron Castle Pictures

 As early as 1623 the estate was in the possession of the Sinclair family of Latheron, Cadets of Mey. 

Little is known about the castle but there is a legend that King William (the Lion) stayed there early in the 13th Century when he came north with a large army to deal with Earl Harald who had stormed the castle (Braal in Halkirk) of John, Bishop of Caithness and cut his tongue out as ‘he was an informer’. It was said that King William exacted a fine of 2000 merks from Harold and occupied Latheron while the money was being collected. It is believed the castle was completed in 1203 and that the rebellious Earl Harold died there three years later.

Latheron is detailed in the Statistical Account of the 1700s as being a small estate originally belonging to Dunbeath and the Sinclairs of Dunbeath and later inherited by a younger son of Dunbeath who is buried in the family vault in the south wall of the Parish Church (now the Clann Gunn Museum). Afterwards the estate passed into a branch of the Gunns of Daletar.

See Also
Latheron Castle In Caithness Castles