Strathpeffer Places

Strathpeffer Community Collage
This Pictish symbol stone, known also as the stone of the turning, dates from before the 7th century. Carved on the stone are two designs: an elaborate arch and an eagle. It is possible that the stone served as a record of marriage or a territorial marker.
The stone has been moved from a previous lower site and legend has it that it marks the graves of Munro clansmen killed in battle in the 15th century. In the 17th century, the Brahan Seer prophesied that if the Eaglestone fell three times ships would sail up the valley and moor at the stone; the Eaglestone has already fallen twice and is now set in concrete.
The Eaglestone is situated on the easterly edge of the village of Strathpeffer, reached by a footpath from the A834.

The three pupils of Fodderty Primary 7, who took the photographs in this features topic - Mark Coupland, Michael Bartlett, and Heather MacLennan.

Strathpeffer Places

The Victorian railway station at Strathpeffer.

The Highland Museum of Childhood
Located in a restored Victorian Station, built in 1885 in the Spa village of Strathpeffer, the Museum tells the story of childhood in the Highlands amongst hardworking crofters and townsfolk, where money and luxuries were scarce, and life followed the rhythm of the seasons; a way of life recorded by oral testimony, displays, and evocative photographs. The award-winning video "A Century of Highland Childhood" is also shown.

The Museum is also home to the Angela Kellie Doll and Toy Collection, displaying a changing selection each year. The museum has been commended for its child-friendly approach and offers plenty to do with quizzes, dressing-up and toys to play with, while accompanying adults, and children too, will appreciate the well-researched social history.

The museum has its own gift shop and there is a coffee shop next door..

The station platform, now containing a museum, tearoom and a variety of shops.

The station when in use, with the "Strathy" about to depart.

At the end of the station buildings was the woodcarver's shop.

The Brahan Seer.

At the time these photos were taken the woodcarver (Alistair Brebner, now retired) was completing the gigantic figures for subsequent installation in the Pavilion gardens. [Photos:  RCHS]

In December 2019, in Strathpeffer Pavilion, Dingwall Choral Society performed a piece entitled Songs from Strath Gardens.  This was a choral piece they had commissioned through collaboration with Bob Pegg and composer Chris Hutchings and featured five short songs relating to the five carved statues inspired by local history and legends.

The Neil M. Gunn Monument

The Neil M. Gunn Monument was erected on Heights of Brae, Strathpeffer in 1988, as a consequence of the enthusiasm of the Trustees, seven local people. The monument itself consists of a central 'standing stone'; round the base are carved Caithness slabs, depicting themes central to Neil Gunn's writing. The Monument is situated in a very natural setting near the foothills of Ben Wyvis, and close to the route taken by the author as he made his way on his daily walk from Brae Farm House, up through the fields behind the house and on to the moor to the North of the monument. The thinking behind the 'Tryst Gate', the wrought-iron gate at the entrance to the monument, was of Neil's words being read and their influence radiating in all directions to other peoples.

The Gunn memorial viewpoint indicator.

The carved heptagon is made of Caithness slab. It was made by Mr Jack Green at his quarry at Halkirk, Caithness. On this feature, the carvings by Allan Haldane indicate the directions of important places in the surrounding landscape.

St John the Baptist Well.  On the opposite side of the Strathpeffer valley from the Neil Gunn memorial and located on the lower slopes of Knockfarrel above Fodderty Cemetery.
Wells such as these can be found throughout the Highlands and relate to Pagan times when well-worship was prevalent. On the arrival of the early Christians, there was a tendency not to antagonise the local population by discouraging well-worship, but instead dedicating certain wells to Saints, thus Holy Wells.

Originally, the water supposedly cured sickness and mental disorders, but recent analysis shows it to be beneficial for heart disease. The sites of the ancient chapels of Fodderty and Inchrory are in the vicinity.

Memorial plaque to the former pupils of Fodderty (Strathpeffer) Primary School killed in the First World War.  Photo taken in the school but the plaque has now (August 2000) been removed to the new Strathpeffer Primary School.

Here is the memorial to the soldiers of Fodderty Parish who fell in the two World Wars.  It forms the entrance gate to Fodderty (Strathpeffer) cemetery.

The Monument takes the form of an arch with two ornate cast iron gates. Two small pillars on either side each have small gates with handles in the form of thistle heads. The gates on the main arch have FREEDOM on the top of the left one, and PEACE on top of the right-hand one. At the side of each are swords with entwined roses, and various wreath forms (thistles) below. On the other side of the main arch, facing into the cemetery, are a number of Gaelic texts, and also on two round (bronze) shields which have Gaelic texts round their edges.

The main arch has a small cross at the very top. Below that on a small plaque, are the words TO THE GLORY OF GOD.  Under that are the words IN REMEMBRANCE, then 1914 on one side, and 1918 on the other. Below that are the words PRO PATRIA on the left, and PRO REGE on the right. In small letters on the circular part of the arch roof are the words HIGHLAND MEMORY IS LONG FOR HIGHLAND MEMORY IS STRONG.  The names are on two bronze plaques on the inside faces of each main arch column.

The text on the left-hand plaque (looking from the front) CHA DO SHIR IS CHA DO SCHEADCHAIN IAD AN CATH then a dove motif.


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