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


AGM 2019/20

Despite the global pandemic an annual meeting of the society is necessary so that we can file the relevant documents with the Scottish Charities Regulator before the end of the year. As a physical meeting is not permitted we are holding the Annual General Meeting by email. 

We will circulate the documents to existing members (anyone who has been a member since September 2019) by email.  If you are not a member but would like to take part in the AGM please contact us to join the society. Membership is £5 a year.


Update on postage overseas

We can now send Reflections of Rogart Parish During the Great War overseas to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa and USA for an additional £5.50 to cover postage and packing per book.

The price of each book is £7. 

If you are interested in receiving a copy please use the contact button at the top of the website, or send us a message through Facebook.



New book goes on sale

We were just about to hold a cèilidh night to launch our latest book when lockdown shut down everything. As we’re still not able to host any sort of event we wanted to make Reflections of Rogart Parish During the Great War available now.

When we started the project back in 2018 we didn’t want to write a traditional narrative of the progress of the war or try to capture the full consequences of this epoch-ending period. Instead we wanted to show how the men, women and children of Rogart were affected and lived, or died, through the crucible of the Great War.

Our historian, John MacDonald, had collected material over the decades. He had studied the rolls of honour and asked questions of folk who had personally known those who had served. So our new book includes tributes to the men of the Rogart who fought in the war. Their family members have donated photographs and shared their ancestors’ stories.

We also draw on letters home. Written by soldiers at the Western Front they reveal the day-to-day concerns of the men. They also show how travel broadened their horizons. Astonishingly some of them managed to explore parts of France and southern England, almost as tourists.

The book also dips into contemporary Highland newspapers. The local press recorded celebrations of medal winners and the funerals of those men who were buried locally. The papers also reported on the shortage of manpower as a result of the men’s absence and the work of women and children to support their menfolk.

During the research we have also tracked down men whose names appear on the war memorial at Pittentrail but whose connection with Rogart had faded from general knowledge. We identified a number of these ‘unknown soldiers’.

The book is now for sale in the Post Office store at Pittentrail for £7.
Or we can post it out if you don’t live locally – additional cost of postage and packing in the UK is £2.40. The cost of sending outwith the UK will be publicised shortly.

If you would like to buy a copy please send us a private message using the Contact button at the top of the page and we will get back to you:




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!


ARCH newsletter

We’ve just received the latest ARCH newsletter, with lots of dates for your diary.

There is information about their new and exciting project to research Highland archaeology from earliest times to the 20th century which starts with a symposium on 2nd/3rd of June – not to be missed.

Plus information about experimental archaeology workshops, lectures, conferences, ARCH Friends outing and an ARCH celebration in June.


ARCH Newsletter 41 – April 2018

As usual, check out the ARCH website for details on other events.


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


Putting our heads together?

Could you help to ensure Rogart Heritage has a bright, shiny future?

We desperately need people who can give up just a wee bit of time, every few months.

If you could take a seat on our (very small) committee, please contact Christina on or 01408 621871



We desperately need people to step forward and be willing to sit on our committee. And it’s really not too onerous!

  • We only have one (very informal) formal meeting each year.
  • We also host 3 or 4 events annually which are a combination of historical talk and music night.
  • Once a year we have a summer exhibition at Rhilochan School and participate in the Archaeology for Communities Highland (ARCH) summer events.
  • We only have a very small committee of four people: the Chairperson, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Our Historian also provides a wealth of information on the area.
  • We’re friendly, supportive and enjoy a good craic.
  • If you’d like to get involved drop Christina an email – or ring 621871


Could you get involved?

We are looking for people who are enthusiastic and willing to take a lead in Rogart Heritage Society’s meetings and events.

  • It isn’t too onerous as we only have one (very informal) formal meeting each year.
  • We also host 3 or 4 events annually which are a combination of historical talk and music night.
  • Once a year we have a summer exhibition at Rhilochan School and participate in the Archaeology for Communities Highland (ARCH) summer events.
  • We only have a very small committee of four people: the Chairperson, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. Our Historian also provides a wealth of information on the area.
  • We’re friendly, supportive and enjoy a good craic.