Abandoned village that disappeared from the Highlands to be retraced

The people and buildings of a lost village that disappeared from the Highland landscape around 150 years ago are to be retraced.

Borg on the Berriedale Estate in Caithness was abandoned by 1877 with the roofs of the houses removed. PIC: Caithness Broch Project.
Borg on the Berriedale Estate in Caithness was abandoned by 1877 with the roofs of the houses removed. PIC: Caithness Broch Project.

Only the ruins of nine buildings can be found at Borg in Caithness with it known the houses were abandoned by 1877.

It is thought that the origins of the settlement might lie in the Iron Age, with Borg the Old Norse for 'old fortress'.

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The outlines of nine buildings can be still be seen in the landscape with work now underway to find out more about the people who lived there. PIC: Caithness Broch Project.

Kenneth McElroy, of the Caithness Project said: "We don't know a lot at the moment about Borg and there are scant records available.

"But we know now that the estate has census records from the 18th Century so it would be really cool if we could get our hands on those to find out more about the people who lived there."

Borg was part of the Berriedale Estate. While Caithness did not endure the Highland Clearances to the same extent as other areas, the village may have been emptied given its close proximity to neighbouring Sutherland.

"We don't know what happened there. Perhaps it just faded away. That certainly makes it interesting," Me McElroy said.

Mr McElroy said the nine remaining buildings included longhouses and a number of smaller circular buildings, which may have been kilns or sheep pens.

He added: "We have pretty good archaeological information which shows people were there from around 1560 to the 1700 and 1800s.

"I actually believe Borg is older than this and may have originally been linked to the Vikings."

Once the history of Borg has been pieced together, it is planned to put interpretation panels at the site to revive its place in the landscape.