Strathpeffer Places

Strathpeffer Community Collage

The three pupils of Fodderty Primary 7, who took the photographs in this section.

Ruaridh McCready, Martin Gray, Kieron Wallace. Sept. 1998

Commercial Properties

Spa Petrol Station, now closed to the public (Oct. 1999) owned by Spa Motors.

Spa Motors (Coach Hire)

Founded in 1963 by Norman MacArthur as an Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering Business, in an old farm steading in the Kinettas area of Strathpeffer.

In 1970 the business took a change in direction, the purchase of its first coach (a Bedford SB), and a service contract to convey school pupils from Achiltibuie/Ullapool to Dingwall Academy Hostels

Nowadays transformed into a family partnership with a 26 vehicle fleet.

Operations include - school, service and works contracts, Day Tours, British and European Holiday programmes. Also excursion programmes for Cruise liners berthing at local ports, Clan Gatherings and Conferences.

The same building in earlier years when it was Munro's Posting Establishment and Motor Garage.

The Highland Hotel occupies a prominent position overlooking the village square. It was built in 1911 by the Highland Railway Company to encourage passengers to use the Perth to Inverness railway line.

During the First World War it was used as a convalescent home for wounded service men.

In 1923, under the Railway Grouping Act, ownership of the hotel passed to the London Midland & Scottish Railway Company.

During the Second World War the hotel was used as an army billet and for some years afterwards as army married quarters.

In the 1950s the hotel was sold by British Railways and has had several owners since then. The current owners are part of the Shearings Coach Group and the hotel is now mainly used for touring coach parties.

Afternoon tea at the Highland Hotel.

The Strathpeffer Hotel (1998)

The Ben Wyvis Hotel (1998)

Dunraven, Golf Course Road, early 1900s.

Dunraven dates from 1901 and was originally built by two sisters, Catherine and Aline Corbett, who saw the need to provide hotel accommodation for the many visitors who came to "take the waters" in this spa village.

Following World War I the hotel  became convalescent accommodation for wounded servicemen, and after World War II the Church of Scotland established it as a care home for the elderly until it closed in the 1970s and reverted to being a hotel.

The building has been upgraded over the years and combines many original features with 21st century requirements.

The Square, Strathpeffer.

The Square, Strathpeffer, on 14 February 1906.  

Known locally as "the paper shop" this building has served the village in many guises over the years, housing at different times the Post Office, a hairdresser's and a draper's, while the rear of the building provided accommodation for at least two families (complete with outside toilets which are still in situ).

A traditional village shop selling everything from a needle to an aspirin but also providing for modern needs with video rentals, gifts and tourist souvenirs, Clan Heritage Tartan Scroll printing and, essentially, a National Lottery terminal.

Spa Pharmacy (left)

A traditional Pharmacy which contains many original features. It was originally two shops, the left hand side being the butcher's shop. It was opened as a Pharmacy around the early 1880's by a London Drug Firm, possibly Allen and Hanbury's. The appointed manager, Mr. T. Wellwood Maxwell, finally bought it in 1890 and remained there until 1936.  Bought by the present owner's family in 1958.  Mrs Margaret Spark has been the popular pharmacist for many years.

Hairdresser and Strathpeffer Crafts (right)
As with the rest of the Square Shops, these two were built in the 1840's as the spa began to develop. Has been both a Fruit Shop and a Sweet Shop. During the 1930's there was a small Sweet Factory behind the present building which supplied Confectionery. Originally there was accommodation above each shop but, apart from the Newsagent, all upstairs space is now for storage.

The Shieling

The Belgian chocolate factory
The Belgian chocolate factory

The Craft Shop in Strathpeffer
The Craft Shop in Strathpeffer

Early photograph of 'The Shieling' when it contained Castle Leod well and Lady Cromartie's well.  The Free Church is in the background.

Peffery House, The Old Station Yard, Strathpeffer.
Peffery House is the purpose-built administrative headquarters of the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board. (HOST). The architectural firm of Matheson, Mackenzie and Ross, in Dingwall, was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Ross and Cromarty Enterprise to design and supervise its construction. Sited adjacent to the Old Victorian Station, the one-and-a-half storey building is designed to reflect and blend with the character of Victorian Strathpeffer.

It was built by Morrison Construction of Inverness and was completed in May 1997. The 20 members of HOST's staff work in the areas of marketing, visitor services, research and personnel, using state-of-the-art computer and telecommunications links.

 The Tourist Office in the Square.

The present tourist office opened in 1988 and stands in the village square. There is a staff of two and it is open from Easter to Mid-October. It is a busy office and gets many enquiries from quite far afield; the people who come into the office are mainly looking for accommodation. There are lots of pamphlets covering a wide range of places to visit and things to do in Ross and Cromarty plus many more for a wide surrounding area. They also have books and postcards for sale.

Ardival Harps

Ardival Harps is a small business situated near the Victorian village of Strathpeffer. The firm specialise in Historical Scottish Harps and modern Clarsachs made from local timber, cut and kiln dried by a local hardwood sawmill. Proper seasoning ensures that the harps may be used in modern centrally-heated conditions. The woods used are beech, birch, lime and sycamore.

Ardival Harps also run holiday courses for beginners and players. Structured four-day courses offer an opportunity to combine a holiday in the Highlands with a chance to hear and learn different types of harps.

Mackay's Hotel (2004)

Mackay's Spa Lodge Hotel (2004)

Wood carver's shop, Old Station.

For a number of years Mr Alistair Brebner had his wood carving premises here, creating memorable sculptures.  His outstanding sculpture is the Evolution Pillar which remains beside these premises although Mr Brebner has retired from business.  [See 'Features' to view more of Mr Brebner's work.]

Evolution pillar in course of construction.

Strathpeffer Pavilion (1890)

Pavilion dining room.

Arty Shaw's orchestra playing in the Pavilion.

Strathpeffer Pavilion (c.1936) in photograph probably taken from the clock tower or the top of the bath house.

Masonic procession outside Pavilion (date unknown).

The Pavilion after a 21st century refurbishment.  It is now a venue for concerts, drama,  art and food fairs, weddings etc.

The Pavilion - side view.

The Pavilion - rear view.

In September 2019 it was announced that the Pavilion, which dates back to the 1880s and has had several owners, the latest of which was High Life Highland, had reverted to community control following an award of £484,550 from the Scottish Land Fund.

Under the ownership of Strathpeffer Pavilion Community Trust the aim is that the building will become a focus for learning, culture and heritage within Ross-shire and throughout the Highlands.

Adjacent to the Pavilion is the former Pump Room (open during the tourist season and staffed by volunteers).

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