Rogart Heritage

Archaeology & Heritage

Welcome to our newly updated and expanded website

Rogart Heritage Society was formed to record and preserve the history of the parish. The quest is ongoing in that we are constantly finding fresh information and coming across new images and documents for our archive. Now that we are developing our website we are able to make so much more available, wherever you may be in the world.

If you have documents, pictures or stories that you would like to add to our archive please get in touch. We would love to hear from you!

Recent posts


VENUE CHANGE Craic & Cèilidh – 19 October


Sutherland Estates used to own dozens of sporting lodges in the county and John MacKay, Tordarroch has gathered together pictures of them (new and old). Some were grand, others quite simple, the variety of architecture and location is outstanding.

Even if you have seen his slide show before it has been updated and more pictures added. A fascinating night is expected.

Musicians – please come along, we’d all love to hear you play!


Saturday 28 September


Saturday sees our (somewhat belated) Annual General Meeting.
The agenda is below as are the minutes from last year’s AGM. We won’t be printing them in order to save paper, but will project them during the meeting.

The short AGM will be followed by a slide show of “new old Rogart pictures” which have been donated or collected over the last year. There will be a raffle, light refreshments and a house cèilidh. We will be collecting membership fees and issuing membership cards.

Please come along with your voice or instrument, bring a raffle prize, and find out what has been going on since our last AGM.


Accolade for John Macdonald

Professor Neil Simco, vice principal, research and impact, University of the Highlands and Islands, presents John Macdonald with his honorary fellowship. Picture: Duncan McLachlan, John O’Groat Journal

Saturday 14 September 2019 saw local historian and author, John Macdonald being recognised for his contributions to the community and university by being awarded an Honorary Fellowship at St Peter’s and St Andrew’s Church, Thurso .

Professor Neil Simco presented the award to John Macdonald, Little Rogart, for his work in history, music and crofting politics to support community education, academic research, public service and cultural work for over 50 years.

Avid collector

John Macdonald has also collected an archive of photographs, stories and artefacts which were used in his many public talks and guided walks.

His careers as railwayman and postman as well as his life-long residence in Rogart has given him an enviable network of informants and an intimate knowledge of place, attributes which most professional historians lack.

He was instrumental in the development of the Sutherland Accordion and Fiddle Group as well as Rogart’s heritage society.

He has encouraged many people to understand more about their local history and the archaeology of the ground beneath their feet. He also a mentor of postgraduate students, helping to show how they can apply their theoretical knowledge to “on the ground” evidence


The Office Bearers for 2019-20 (elected 28 September 2019)

Chair: Charlotte Gibson, West Kinnauld Farm, Rogart. 01408 641225

Vice Chair: Rachel Allan, The Rowans, Rhiandoggie, Rogart.01408 641412‬

Secretary: Christina Perera, Ascoile, Gordonbush, Brora. 01408 621871

Treasurer: Raymond Ross, 174 Muie, Rogart. 01408 641245

Historian: John Macdonald, 148 Little Rogart, Rogart. 01408 641265

Co-Opted Member: Steve Taylor, Milton Bank Cottage, Rogart. 1408 641410‬‬

The Society rents the old school at Rhilochan and uses it to hold meetings and events and make it available for any local organisation should they wish to use it. Alternative premises are the Rogart Hall at Pittentrail, favoured during the winter months.

The society were gifted an area of land in the village by the late Mrs Warre of Morvich Estate. The intention was to have a building to use as a heritage centre. Admirable as the idea is, in reality the society does not feel strong enough in membership to build and maintain such a facility. The land is still available should circumstances change. It is being preserved as a low maintenance Heritage Garden.

Over the years the society has accumulated a vast store of information relating to the parish. We hope to make an inventory available on the website.

Projects on the horizon.

  • We plan to develop pages on the Rogart diaspora – folk who have left the parish – and more about the antiquities found in the parish.
  • We are currently preparing two books for publication: one on the histories of the sheep farms of Sutherland; the other on Rogart during the First World War.
  • We are hoping to explore the Boer War based on the letters of Walter Matheson of West Langwell.

Please let us have your feedback on what you would like to see on the website. If you would like to share your story or pictures of local interest please contact us.