Level Crossing at Kildonan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Level Crossing at Kildonan

A location on the Helmsdale River in the Strath of Kildonan, E Sutherland, Kildonan lies 11 miles (18 km) north of Brora and comprises a railway station, a farm and Kildonan Lodge (1896). A gold rush took place here in 1868 after a local man, Robert Gilchrist, who had experience in the gold-fields of Australia, systematically surveyed the streams falling into the Helmsdale River and discovered concentrations of gold. Prospectors came from far and wide and set up their encampment at Baile-an-Or (town of gold) to the east, which soon gained an inn and store selling over-priced provisions. The landowner, the Duke of Sutherland, licenced claims at the rate of £1 per month, but concerned at the effects on tenant farmers and fishermen, he stopped issuing licences and brought gold prospecting to a close at the end of 1869. Economic quantities of gold can still be found in the Kildonan Burn and the Suisgill Burn to the north.

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