Rogart Heritage

Archaeology & Heritage


Cancellation – Craic & Cèilidh – Tuesday 13 November

We are very sorry to have to cancel our proposed event on Tuesday 13 November. Please can you pass this on to anyone who may have been attending.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 5 December and will have a water theme – lochs and rivers.



Special Offer – One Night Only!

If you’re coming to the Craic & Cèilidh on Friday 12 October, there will be an opportunity to buy a copy of John Macdonald’s book about Rogart at a special price.



For one night only it will be available for £10! Please bring cash, as we have no card facility.


Rogart 150 – Craic & Cèilidh, Friday 12 October

Our next event will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the railway’s arrival in Rogart. A must for anyone who would like to see what the station once looked like, the numerous staff that were necessary to run this busy place and its twists and turns through time.

The short talk accompanied by photographs will be followed by an informal house cèilidh.

Refreshments & Raffle


Heritage Walk – 1 September

Every year, in the autumn, Highland Archaeology hosts a festival to showcase the magnificent history of the area. Community heritage groups often arrange local walks as part of these celebrations, and Rogart’s is no exception.

This year Alex Campbell, Eiden, is giving a guided walk around Reidh Chalmai (sometimes referred to as Rhichalmy of Torboll) where the landscape is littered with interesting archaeology and fascinating history.

In 1909 archaeologist Alexander Curle described the tumuli, chambered cairn and hut circles at Reidh Chalmai at great length in his diary and sketched one of the more intact cairns at neighbouring Torboll. Maps reveal significant signs of former habitation and there is plenty of evidence to be seen today.

It should prove a fascinating morning.

Please meet at 10:30, Pittentrail Hall car park. The walk will last about 2 hours. Afterwards, tea and coffee will be available in the hall.

* Wear suitable clothing * Bring a drink *

FREE! Donations welcome.



If you have been watching the recent documentary series that highlighted the sacrifice of the forgotten Highland Division at St Valery you will be enthralled by this exhibition.

After Dunkirk, Churchill abandoned the Highlanders to their fate

Much less known than Dunkirk – and not at all celebrated – is the fact that on 4 June, 1940, the day after the evacuation was completed, 10,000 Scots in Normandy launched an attack on the Germans. The consequences were disastrous and it’s too late to award a St. Valery medal to the survivors. But at least we can honour their memory.

Son of Rogart

Malkie Fraser was a highly regarded man from Garvault, Rogart who never spoke of his experience as a Prisoner of War in Poland. He lived through capture at St Valery, forced marches, hunger, privation and cruelty.

Morven Gabriel, his niece, has put together an exhibition of papers and pictures from Malkie’s wartime experience. Everything had been kept by her Grannie from enlistment papers to notice of his capture – months after she had been informed he’d gone missing.

Using diaries from a fellow-soldier whose experience mirrored her uncle’s, Morven has been able to piece together Malkie’s harrowing time in captivity.

If you do nothing else today, come and see the exhibition.


Everybody’s welcome – Summer Exhibition and Craic & Cèildh evening

Our Summer Exhibition makes a return after a year’s absence.

From Wednesday 1 August until Friday 3 August, between 11am and 4pm an exhibition about Malkie Fraser a WWII Prisoner of War. Includes photographs and documents from his incarceration in a camp in Poland. Rhilochan School.

Craic & Cèildh

Wednesday 1 August, starting 7:30pm, Rhilochan School.

Morven Gabriel will give a talk on her Uncle Malkie’s period in Prisoner of War Camp in Poland to accompany the Summer Exhibition. She will take us through this extraordinary story of his capture at St Valery, his forced march east to Stalag XXA, camp life and his 860 mile march to be repatriated.

This will be followed by refreshments, raffle and a cosy house cèilidh (no dancing!).

Feel free to bring contributions – raffle prizes, nibbles and of course your instruments if you play! 


Diary Date – Summer Exhibition

We are excited to announce this year’s Summer Exhibition at Rhilochan School – a pictorial exhibition of one Rogart man’s experience as a Prisoner of War in Poland.

First Night ‘Craic & Cèilidh’

Morven Gabriel will be giving a fascinating insight into her Uncle Malkie (Malcolm Fraser of Garvoult) who served with The Seaforth Highlanders during WW2.  Malkie was captured and held at Stalag XXA Prison Camp; his mother, Jessie Baillie Fraser kept all of the correspondence, photographs and newspaper clippings from this period.

Morven has spent the last few months sorting, cataloguing, annotating and copying this incredible collection.

Starts: 7:30 pm, Wednesday 1 August, at Rhilochan School.

As usual the talk will be followed by tea, raffle and a house cèilidh, so please bring your instruments to contribute to the evening.


Exhibition Times

The exhibition will be open from Wednesday 1 August until Friday 3 August from 11am until 4pm.

If anyone wishes to volunteer to staff the exhibition we will be able to open for longer hours.



Pitfure Church – Everybody Welcome


On Sunday 29 July at 3pm this beautiful, well-cared for church will be closing its doors for the very last time. Parishioners, friends and families whether regular church-goers or not, are invited to take part in the final service.

The United Free Church came into being as a result of a split between the ranks of the Free Church in 1900, which created some animosity within the parish. A House of Lords’ ruling made the Rogart United Free church homeless and so the breakaway group met in local homes and sometimes in the open air.

By 1906 fundraising was started to build a fine new church at Pitfure, a feat which was completed by June 1910. The architect was Robert J Macbeth of Inverness.

In 1929 most of the United Free Church joined the Church of Scotland, but not without dissension and bad feeling and in Rogart the two congregations remained separate until around 1948 or 1949 when they were united into one congregation.

Weekly services alternated between St Callan’s and the Pitfure Church ever since. However, dwindling numbers of attendees, combined with the costs of maintaining two churches in the parish have ultimately led to the decision to close Pitfure.

The final service will mark the end of an era and will be followed by a chance to chat and have coffee and cake. Everybody’s welcome!


‘Craic & Cèilidh’ – Thursday 24 May

Join us on Thursday 24 May at 7:30 pm, in the small hall at Pittentrail, IV28 3XB. Everybody welcome!

We’re pleased that Brian Mearns will be giving a talk on the fascinating languages that evolved as a result of the Scots’ emigration to Canada.

This will be followed by tea/coffee and a raffle.

We’ll end the night with a music session – so please bring along your instrument (or voice) and join in!


Annual General Meeting 2018

This week (18 April) we held our Annual General Meeting which was well attended, including some new faces along with the staunch regular supporters.

The Committee was elected with Charlotte Gibson as Chair, Rachel Allan as Vice Chair, Raymond Ross as Treasurer and Christina Perera as Secretary. Stalwart and founding member of the Heritage Society, John Macdonald, will continue as the group’s Historian and Steve Taylor was also added to strengthen the Committee.

In the Annual Report Charlotte Gibson stated “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to bring enthusiastic and capable people onto the committee so that the Society doesn’t wither and die. If you can get actively involved, or know someone who can, please let us know. It isn’t too onerous if we can share the work.”

We have an exhibition planned for the summer which will feature the WWII experience of a Rogart man who spent time in Germany as a Prisoner of War. In the autumn there will be a talk on Sir John Macdonald; the winter talk is the rescheduled River Brora slideshow after it was cancelled due to the snow, and the next meeting will be about Sutherlanders who left for Canada and the creole language that was developed as a result. 

We will be publishing the Annual Report and Accounts on the website very soon and membership forms will be available in the Rogart shop.

We always welcome new members, so please come along to a meeting. Dates will be announced soon.

Braegrudie House by David Allen