|Windmill and pilot house, Castlehill Heritage Center, Castletown Caithness, Scotland,UK. The Flagstone Heritage Trail and the Castlehill Heritage Centre between them celebrate the memory of the flagstone industry in this part of Caithness. Opening times for the heritage centre are set out on the right, while the fairly short and very pleasant stroll along the trail can be enjoyed at any time. Both are reached by heading northeast for a little under half a mile along a minor road from the centre of Castletown.
The story of the flagstone industry in this part of Caithness is very much the story of James Traill of Rattan, Sheriff-Depute of Caithness and owner of substantial estates in the area. In the early 1800s, he conceived the idea of opening up a series of quarries on his land. One of the most promising sites was at Castlehill on the shore of Dunnet Bay. Over the following 20 years, Traill began the large scale extraction of flagstone at Castlehill. In parallel, he oversaw the development of Castletown as a planned village on a greenfield site to house quarry workers.