Strath of Kildonan

(Strath Ullie)

Strath of Kildonan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Strath of Kildonan

A broad valley of E Sutherland, within the Highland Council Area, the Strath of Kildonan extends in a southeasterly direction from Kinbrace to Helmsdale on the North Sea coast. Also known as Strath Ullie, it carries the water of the Helmsdale River, the railway and the A897 road which passes Kildonan Lodge, a Victorian shooting lodge erected in 1896. A bridge was erected at Kilphedir in 1820 during a period of road improvement that followed extensive evictions from the Sutherland Estates that took place in the Strath in 1813 when many tenants emigrated to Canada. There are a number of ancient hut circles, cairns and broch sites in addition to old Kildonan Parish Church which dates from 1788. A plaque in the church commemorates George Bannerman whose great grandson, J.D. Diefenbaker, became Prime Minister of Canada. The Strath of Kildonan was the scene of a gold rush in 1869 which brought an influx of prospectors who set up a temporary settlement named Baile-an-Or (town of gold) by the Kildonan Burn.

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