Loth

"LOTH, a parish in the E. coast of county Sutherland, Scotland, 11 miles N.E. of Golspie, its post town. It contains the village of Port Gower, and adjoins Helmsdale. It is 7 miles in length,-and about 4 at its greatest breadth. The surface for the most part is hilly, and attains in some parts a height of 1,500 feet above the sea-level. There are several streamlets, the principal being the Loth. The parish is in the presbytery of Dornoch and synod of Sutherland and Caithness. The minister's stipend is £162. The church is a modern and commodious structure. There were formerly three chapels in this parish, but the burying-grounds of two are the only traces now left of them. A portion of the parish, including the town of Helmsdale, was in 1841 annexed to the parish of Kildonan. There are remains of Picts' houses on Loth Water, also cairns, tumuli, and a pillar of stone 10 feet high. The last witch burnt in Scotland suffered here about 1720."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

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Presbyterian / Unitarian
Loth, Church of Scotland

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Presbyterian / Unitarian
Loth, Church of Scotland

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

HELMSDALE, a fishing-village, in the parish of Loth, county of Sutherland, 17 miles (N. E.) from Golspie; containing 526 inhabitants. This village is situated on the north bank of the river Helmsdale, near its influx into the Moray Firth. The place consists chiefly of neatly-built houses inhabited by persons engaged in the fisheries, and is connected with the western portion of the parish by a handsome bridge of two arches, erected over the Helmsdale, at an expense of £3200, by the parliamentary commissioners, in 1811. It has long been celebrated for its valuable salmon-fisheries on the river, belonging to the Duke of Sutherland, and which are carefully managed under the superintendence of the proprietor's agents: the fish are of superior size and flavour, and are sent packed in ice to the London market, where they are purchased by contract. The herringfishery, in the Firth, is also very extensive: houses for curing the herrings have been built on a principle well adapted for the purpose; and since the year 1815, the quantity cured at this place has gradually increased from about 5000 to 46,000 barrels annually. The whole of the herrings are now exported to the continent and to Ireland. Helmsdale harbour was greatly improved by the erection of a substantial pier by the proprietor, at a cost of £1600, in 1818, since which time additional sums have been expended; and still further improvements are in contemplation. The fishery affords employment to a very considerable number of coopers, and a steam-mill has been erected for sawing the staves of the barrels; a few of the boats are built here, for the fishery, and various handicraft trades are carried on for the supply of the inhabitants. A post-office is established, which has a daily delivery; and facility of communication is afforded by the parliamentary road from Dunrobin, in the parish of Golspie, to the Ord of Caithness; by a good road from the village, through the strath of Kildonan, to the North Sea; and by vessels from different ports of England and Ireland, which touch at the harbour. A church, capable of containing from 600 to 700 persons, was built some years ago in the village by the late Duchess-Countess of Sutherland, aided by a subscription by the present duke.

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

LOTH, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 11 miles (N. E. by N.) from Golspie; containing, with the villages of Helmsdale and Port- (iowcr, 2526 inhabitants, of whom 1764 are in the rural districts. The name Lotli seems to be of Danish origin, like the names of most parishes in the county of Caithness. In 1198, King William the Lion, on his march into Caithness to retaliate upon Harold, Earl of Orkney, the cruel death he had inflicted upon the Bishop of Caithness, passed through this parish, which afterwards, from its situation on the border of the county, participated largely in the frequent hostilities that took place between the inhabitants of the adjacent districts. During the turbulent period that preceded the final establishment of legitimate government, the place also suffered much from the depredations of lawless fugitives, for whose concealment it afforded ample facilities in the solitary recesses of the Ord of Caithness, which here separates the counties of Sutherland and Caithness. In 1.513, the Earl of Caithness marched through the parish, with a band of his retainers, to the battle of Flodden-Field; and in 1679, a body of Highland troops passed on their route to Caithness, to support the claims of Campbell of Glenorchy to the earldom. During the rebellions of 1/15 and 1745, the inhabitants took up arms in support of the government; and in 1746, the Earl of Cromarty, with a considerable force, advancing to Caithness for the purpose of raising recruits for the rebel army, burnt the mansionhouses of Kintradwell and Crakaig, in this parish. The PARISH is bounded on the south by the Moray Firth, which is here forty miles in width, and on the north by a ridge of hills. It is about eleven miles in length, and varies from three-quarters of a mile to nearly three miles in breadth. The surface towards the coast is level, but rises by a gradual acclivity towards the hills which form its northern boundary, and of which the highest, Ben-Veallich, has an elevation of 1888 feet above the level of the Firth. The principal rivers are, the Helmsdale, which runs through the eastern portion of the parish into the Moray Firth at the village of Helmsdale; and the Loth, a rapid stream flowing through Glen Loth into the Moray Firth near the western boundary of the parish.

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1851, Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis

PORT-GOWER, a village, in the parish of Loth, county of Sutherland, 14 miles (N. E.) from Golspie; containing 236 inhabitants. This village, which is situated on the shore of the Moray Firth, about halfway between the kirktown of Loth and the village of Helmsdale, is neatly built, and inhabited by persons employed partly in the cultivation of the adjacent lands, and partly in the herring-fisheries. It has a commodious inn, on the parliamentary road from Dunrobin to the Ord of Caithness; and the parochial school is in the village. The coast, from the western extremity of the parish to Port-Gower, is a level sandy beach, interrupted occasionally by low rocks which are completely covered with the tide; but from Port-Gower to the Ord, at the eastern extremity of Loth, there is one continued chain of rugged limestone rocks.

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