ND0820 : Badbea: a memory of the Highland Clearances

taken 8 years ago, near to Ousdale, Highland, Great Britain

Badbea: a memory of the Highland Clearances
Badbea: a memory of the Highland Clearances
Badbea is a very sad place, a grim reminder us of a disgraceful period in our national history.

Badbea is a ruined village on the cliff tops around 5 miles north of Helmsdale, in Caithness. The village was settled in the 18th and 19th centuries during the infamous Highland Clearances. Families were forcibly evicted from their homes in the Straths of Langwell, Ousdale and Berriedale to be replaced by sheep for the profit of the landlords.

From 1792 onwards, the displaced families began to arrive in Badbea, a small area of rough, steeply sloping land above the precipitous cliffs of Berriedale overlooking the North Sea. When the families arrived they were given small plots to farm, but had to clear the land, hack out the plots from the steep slopes, and build their own houses from the stones they found. The harshness of life in Badbea can be judged from the fact that, while the men and women were working the land, their livestock, and even their children, were on occasion tethered to rocks or posts to prevent them from being blown over the cliffs into the sea by the ferocious winds.

The family plots of land had room for a longhouse, with a byre at one end, and a kitchen garden or kailyard. The rest of the available land could only support a few small vegetable plots and a few cows, pigs and chickens for each family. There was only one horse in the village and thus the soil was ploughed by human effort.
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ND0820, 18 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 11 June, 2011   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 22 June, 2011
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement  Derelict, Disused  Heath, Scrub 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ND 0881 2007 [10m precision]
WGS84: 58:9.6039N 3:33.0832W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! ND 0881 2007
View Direction
North-northwest (about 337 degrees)
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