©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


A village in the Caithness District of Highland Council Area, Halkirk stands on the banks of the River Thurso, 6 miles (10 km) south of Thurso. In the early 13th century the Bishop of Caithness moved his residence or Hall to Halkirk from Scrabster but his successor moved south to Dornoch where a cathedral was built. Developed in the 18th and 19th centuries in association with whisky distilling and the quarrying of flagstones at nearby Banniskirk and Spittal, the village was remodeled in a grid plan in the 1790s. Braal Castle, built in the 15th century, stands close by on the west bank of the river. Local industries include the quarrying of flagstones, mechanical engineering and building industries.

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