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The Pentland Hotel, Thurso, 11-14 April 2018

Wednesday 11th April

19:00 – Welcome buffet meal
Thursday 12th April

09:30 – Session 1
Andrew Conlon, Glasgow, ‘A.O. Curle: A Wandering Antiquary in Caithness’

Maya Hoole, Historic Environment Scotland, ‘(Re)Discovering Ava: Research Results from a Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age Beaker Burial, from Achavanich, Caithness’

John Borland, Historic Environment Scotland, ‘Pictish and Early Medieval Sculpture of Caithness and Sutherland’

Oisin Plumb, University of the Highlands and Highlands, ‘”Beyond the Range of Human Exploration”:
Cormac and the “North” in the Seventh Century’

14:00 – Session 2
Andrea Blendl, UHI Centre for Nordic Studies, ‘Rune-Carving in Caithness: Then and Now’

Joanne Howdle, Thurso: New Developments at the Museum’

16:30-18:30 – Reception at Thurso Museum/Caithness Horizons
with guided tour by Joanne Howdle, Curator of Collections
Friday 13th April

09:30 – Session 3
Linda Ross, UHI, ‘Dounreay, People and Place in Caithness: 1954-65’

Catherine Byrne, Wick, ‘Stroma, Island Life in the 20th Century’

Muriel Murray, Castletown, ‘The Rise and Fall of the 19th Century Flagstone Industry in Caithness’

14:00 – Session 4 – Open to the Public
Andrew Jennings, University of the Highlands and Highlands, ‘The Other Northern Barbarians: A Trope through Time’
Kenny Brophy, University of Glasgow, ‘“Many stanes”: Revisiting the multiple stone rows of northern Scotland”
Colleen Batey, University of Glasgow, ‘Norse Caithness: An Update’
1700 – Conference dinner


Saturday 14th April

09:30-16:30 – Coach Tour
To include Castletown Heritage Centre, Freswick Links and Keiss area broch.
Conference Package


The conference package includes:                                                     Not included:


·         All lectures                                                                               • Travel

·         Buffet on 11th April                                                                   • Accommodation (see below)

·         Tea/coffee (2 days)                                                                  • Conference dinner

·         Light lunch (2 days)

·         Reception on 12th April

·         Coach excursion with packed lunch


Conference fee: £135 (£155 for non-SSNS members); £50 for registered students.

Conference dinner (including wine/ soft drinks): £30

(A fee reduction may be available for participants who cannot attend the full conference. For further information, please email Linda Riddell at


Please note: Deposits and fees are non-refundable, and participants are strongly advised to insure against illness and other possible causes for cancellation.



·         Please complete and sign the enclosed application form and return it with your deposit or fee (£sterling cheques only please, made out to ‘The Scottish Society for Northern Studies’) to reach us no later than 19th March 2018.

·         The balance of the conference fee should reach us no later than 30th March 2018.

·         Please send competed forms and cheques to:
Scottish Society for Northern Studies (Caithness Conference), c/o Scandinavian Studies, 50 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LH



The Pentland Hotel (01847 893202) have agreed a Conference Rate of £50 single/£80 double occupancy B and B. Bookings to be made directly, quoting SSNS Meeting


Other options in Thurso include:


The Inn at Y-Not (B and B) 01847 892272

Pentland Lodge (B and B) 01847 895103

Murray House (B and B) 01847 895759

Station Hotel 01487 892003

The Park Hotel 01847 893251


Caithness Conference Application