Upper Dounreay

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Canmore ID 7863
Site Number ND06NW 4
NGR ND 006 658
Parish REAY
Former Region HIGHLAND
Former District CAITHNESS
Former County CAITHNESS
Datum OSGB36 - NGR
NGR Desc ND 006 658 and NC 950 642

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Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes

ND06NW 4 ND 006 658 and NC 950 642.

(ND 006 658 and NC 950 642) Site of Conflict between Clans AD.1437 (NAT)
OS 6" map, Caithness, 2nd ed., (1907)

In 1437 raiders from Strathnaver (A MacKay 1914), Sutherland, led by Robert Neil - Wasse - McKay, Earl of Sutherland, were intercepted at Dounreay (ND 006 658) by Caithness men. The latter were forced to withdraw eastward to the Water of Forss but, receiving reinforcements, drove the invaders west to Sandside (NC 950 642). Here the McKays turned and pursued the Caithness men back to Dounreay.
This engagement is named the Chase of Sansett, or Ruoig Hansett (R Gordon 1813), and the Sandside Chase or Ruiog Haunsaid (R MacKay 1829). The Name Book (1873) (possibly following MacBain's Gaelic Dictionary) changed 'Ruiog' to 'Ruaig'. Standing stones (ND06NW 3) are said to mark graves of the slain.
R Gordon 1813; R MacKay 1829; Name Book 1873; A MacKay 1914.

No further information.
Visited by OS (J B) 7 September 1964.

Books and References

Gordon, R (1813) Genealogical history of the Earldom of Sutherland - 1630-1813,
Page(s): 68

MacKay, A (1914) History of the Province of Caithness and Sutherland from the Earliest Times to 1615, in Beaton, D Wick
Page(s): 101

MacKay, R (1829) History of the Clan MacKay,
Page(s): 76

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Charity SC026749