Brora Heritage Centre, in Brora on the East coast of Sutherland, hosts a small community museum packed with displays and objects relating to its fascinating and unique Highland History.
Home to Britain’s most northerly occurrence of coal, it was worked intermittently from 1529 to 1777 to fuel a salt-making industry on the shore. From 1810 a 240’ deep shaft was sunk to exploit the coal and, for this phase in the industrial history of the village, the coal fuelled a further salt-works, a whisky distillery, a brickworks and, later, a woollen tweed mill.
Sadly, the distillery is the only industry which has survived, but the stories live on in the museum, alongside many other incredible local stories from a village which has always punched above its weight.
The centre is operated by Clyne Heritage Society on behalf of Highlife Highland and is open daily, 10.30-4.30, from Good Friday to the end of October. The Society is pursuing plans to open its own heritage centre and museum in the redeveloped, currently semi-derelict, Old Clyne School on the main A9 on the north side of the village.