Tain Museum Image Library

Dunskaith House
Tain Museum Image Library
Dunskaith House

The Nigg Ferry Hotel now stands on the site of this old house.
Picture added on 05 April 2004
The Nigg Ferry Hotel stands to the right of the pier and Dunskaith stood to the left as in this picture and the Naval Base which was later to become the HiFab Training School stood in between.
Added by Anne Wilson on 05 April 2004
The comment under the picture is inaccurate. Dunskaith House is still there... albeit only partially! The servants quarters are all that remain of the original house, which was demolished by fire a long time ago.
Added by Alison Hinde on 17 March 2008
My original comment admits to the house being still there and was purely to correct the original comment as the Nigg Ferry Hotel has never stood on the site of "this old house". You, of course, are absolutely correct that the servants quarters are now the only part remanining. It is entirely due to my late Aunt that it is still standing, as she guided the firemen in 1960 to save the servants quarters as the then, owners, personal goods and chattels were in the that part of the property and by then the main house was well alight and there was no realistic hope of saving it. Much of the main house, that I can remember, was lined in beautifully carved pitch pine from floor to ceiling with roses carved in the corners of the rooms and this "went up like a tinder box"; it also had beautiful stained glass windows in the lower corridor. In the heyday of the house - it would have been truly wonderful but by the 1950's it was deteriorating due to ingress of water.

My late Aunt was caretaking the property in the 1950's and consequently we had full access to it but as I have said, sadly, it was not at its best by then.

Added by Anne Wilson on 21 March 2008
This is such a beautiful picture. My interest is of the Castle of Dunskaith on the hill. I have been searching for information of this castle for years. Could anyone help me. Are their any drawings of the castle at all?
Added by Denise on 24 March 2008
Sorry Anne, I also was correcting the detail under the picture. My grandfather worked out of Dunskaith House from 1974 until he retired around 10 years ago. When I go there for a visit it makes me sad to see it now as the house and the grounds aren't being looked after. I've got a lot of fond memories as I spent nearly every weekend between there and Pitcalnie Farm for the first 15 years of my life.
Added by Alison Hinde on 26 March 2008
Denise - check out the Invergordon web site, there are some more pictures and information about Dunskaith House on that. Search for "Invergordon - the old home town". Good Luck.
Added by Jillian on 28 May 2008
Having been born in Nigg in the early 70's l spent a lot of time around this area. Does anyone have any information on the old chapel that is in ruins in the former gardens to Dunskaith House?

Dunskaith Castle, only the outline of the old foundations were/still visible in the fields on the right as you head up the Brae to Castlecraig.

Added by Andy Campbell on 27 December 2009
I was born in Dunskaith House in 1963 and we sold only when it became too difficult to live there with the oil refinery.
I have wonderful cine films of summers on the beach and of us with our ponies which were kept in the field behind the house. We children were always fascinated with the remains of the chapel and the enclosed garden which in summer yielded vegetables and fruits such as rosehips and gooseberries. There was a wood just outside the gate where we played endlessly and every Sunday the family plus numerous dogs and our one cat 'Jason' would go for a walk to the sand dunes (where the refinery is (or was).
Added by Joanne West (nee Tipping) on 26 August 2010
Yes, I used to live in Nigg and go to Nigg school as a pupil (Miss Ross was the head teacher back then). My best friends ("Peter Paterson" aka "Pogo" & "Annabell Paterson" aka "Birdy Patch") mum & dad (The Pattersons) owned Nigg ferry hotel circa 1975 - 1985. It was a lovely place to visit. Does anyone know if the frasers are still in Nigg?
Added by Alistair Campbell on 16 June 2011
I remember the ' Tippings ', we used to play on the beach and get our ice creams from the wee shop. Your dad was a lovely man, Joanne.
Added by Roseanna Healy (nee schoebella) on 30 January 2012
I also remember the Tippings - they owned and ran the caravan site that we spent many happy holidays at. If anyone has any photos I would love to see them
Added by Margaret Healy (nee Watt) on 08 May 2013
Until his recent death, my father Dr Jonathan Jenkins was the owner of Dunskeath House. As children, I too have wonderful memories in the 70's of playing on the beach and trying to understand Tom Wotherspoon who managed the estate. We loved his pony 'Redsocks' who would put his face through our breakfast window! The house has not been maintained and I am sorry for that.
Added by Jonathan Jenkins on 14 October 2014
Hi Jonathan. I'm so sorry to hear abut your dad. Tom Wotherspoon is my grandfather and I have a vague recollection of meeting you and perhaps your sister many years ago. There are lots of happy memories surrounding that big old house. Alison
Added by Alison Paterson (nee Hinde) on 14 October 2014
Hi Jonathan, so sorry to hear about your dad. I am a self employed joiner/builder who was tasked to clear the guttering and downpipes for him some three years ago. I came to live in Nigg in 1965 with my parents to Nigg Mains, went to Nigg school and fondly remember Ann and Dennis doing the school run with their black daimler.
Added by John Mackenzie on 09 April 2015
Well, as you probably now know, the house is now for sale. Let us hope that someone can turn it into the fantastic home it once was, and now should be again. That would make our happy memories more than nostalgia!
Added by Jonathan Jenkins on 17 April 2015
does anyone have any pictures of the house from its hey day?? we are thinking of buying the property and would love to see what it looked like before
Added by Tracey on 28 September 2015
I remember visiting Dunskeath House for a short time in the early 1975 when I was inspecting the area around the site of the proposed oil refinery on the shore of Nigg Bay, and was preparing my evidence for the oral hearing in Dingwall the following month. I was one of the expert witnesses on behalf of Cromarty Petroleum, and gave evidence about the bird life in Nigg Bay and the Cromarty Firth. I remember meeting Dr Jonathan Jenkins, and was impressed by his scientific mind and his vision for the refinery; I was a 33 year old young scientist at the time, and he was a great inspiration and mentor. Sadly, I never met him again afterwards, though I often thought of re-visiting Nigg Bay. I'm really sorry to hear that he died a few years ago.
Added by Jack O'Sullivan on 08 April 2017
Thank you for the kind comments about my father. He actually trained as a rocket scientist before designing oil refineries! Even as he was dying he still had his pad of paper with drawings and pipelines and tonnages written all over it! He loved science and his catholic faith equally.

But he never invested in the upkeep of dunskeath and so the new owners (Global Energy, who own the yard) will have a decision to make. Completely refurbish or rebuild. I might move it a few yards further back too - the sea is encroaching!

A new chapter for Nigg. Thanks to 'Tain Through Time' for hosting these important little pages.
Added by Jonathan Jenkins on 10 April 2017
Sad to see the chapel area being developed?(Dec 2017). Many happy holidays spent in the '60s when we'd rent a caravan there & enjoy daily trips to the wee shop for ice creams! We even inherited our dog ('Iona')from the kennels (Tippings I think)there. Truly magical beach, still (for now) free to enjoy.
Added by Dave Fleming on 16 December 2017
Thanks for the update Dave. Any pictures of the developments there? We really have no reason to make the journey now but remain curious! I suppose I am pleased that at least something is happening in the area..
Added by Jonathan Jenkins on 18 December 2017
My family built the cottage to the east of the chapel in the 1850s, it's been passed down the family since then. My granny refused to sell to hi-fab but other Macleods sold up. I remember being told that the chapel had been built in memory/tribute of the owner's wife who died??? Sorry I didn't ask more when I was younger and there were more elder family around! Alastair Paterson
Added by Alastair Paterson on 12 April 2018
Sad to see the last wing of the house has gone. It has been removed as part of the development of the new dock at Nigg.
Added by David McAllister on 04 December 2019
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