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For much of it's early history, Wick was little more than a small collection of buildings at the mouth of the River Wick. However in the 19th Century, prosperity came to the town as a result of the growth of the fishing industry. Fleets sailed out of Wick, and other ports, in search of the huge shoals of herring that were in the North Sea at that time. This was happening at the same time that the Highland Clearances* were driving people out of their homes in much of Northern Scotland. Large numbers of these Highlanders were attracted to the fishing ports in search of work. In Wick it led to the construction of a new town, Pultneytown, on the south side of the river. The two communities were administered separately for many years, but eventually they were merged into one town. Sadly for Wick, the herring stocks crashed under the pressure of over-fishing, and the prosperous times came to an end.

Some imposing buildings were constructed during the prosperous years, including the grand Station Hotel, overlooking the stone Bridge of Wick, which was built in 1800 to replace a simple plank footbridge.

The shortest street in the world is to be found in Wick: it is 2 metres long and contains a single doorway. Another surprising fact is that the artist L.S. Lowry** visited the town. Better-known for his paintings of the mill towns of Lancashire, he painted several views in Wick, and there is a heritage trail following in his footsteps.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/qpyV74XPkY62

* Highland Clearances - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances

** L.S. Lowry - http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/l-s-lowry-1533

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland

"Bridge of Wick"
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Balnakeil Beach

The community of Balnakeil lies at the furthest North-westerly point on the British mainland. It is well-known for its Craft Village, an experiment begun in the 1970's to turn disused military buildings into an artistic centre. The project was a success and the site now has various businesses, including a bookshop and restaurant, and a popular chocolate shop!
Below the village lies Balnakeil Beach, a long stretch of sand around one side of a narrow bay, with turquoise water and backed by towering sand-dunes. The beach leads to the end of a promontory at Faraid Head, where the Ministery of Defence still has a presence in the form of a small radar station. This is used to monitor military excercises which take place every year at nearby Cape Wrath.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/ao9DhgfPLtj

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland
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Sail Gharbh, Quinag

The mountain known as Quinag, or "The Milking Pail" in English, has three peaks. The highest is Sail Gharbh meaning "The rough Heal".

Quinag is managed by The John Muir Trust, a conservation charity dedicated to preserving wild places - https://www.johnmuirtrust.org/trust-land/quinag

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/hxVpEZYdEHH2

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #mountains
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Ben Stack

When viewed from a North-westerly direction Ben Stack is a perfect mountain. If you asked a child to draw a mountian it would probably look like Ben Stack, a perfect cone in shape. From other directions it can be seen that it's really a long and narrow ridge. Several other mountains in Sutherland have the same sort of shape, which is a result of the geology and the action of glaciers. It's possible that during the last Ice Age Ben Stack may have been a Nunatak, a geological term for a mountain whose peak rises above the surrounding ice sheet.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/wvp6YCV5ZGn

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #landscape #Sutherland #mountains
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The Shelter Stone

Throughout Scotland climbers, and other users of the mountains, share knowledge of places which can be used as rough overnight shelters. They are often known by the old Scottish word, 'howff'. One such place is at the head of Loch Avon in the Cairngorm Mountains. The Gaelic name for it is Clach Dion, and it consists of a large boulder resting on a number of smaller stones. Long ago someone must have discovered the natural cavity underneath, with enough space for four or five people. For centuries ever since it has been used as a refuge from the severe mountain weather, although some people might not find it easy to sleep with such a huge boulder above them!

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/LwyHZ93CVjM2

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #Cairngorms
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Shelter Stone Crag

The south-western end of Loch Avon, in the Cairngorm Mountains, is over-looked by the dramatic Shelter Stone Crag. It is named after a massive boulder that lies at its foot, at the bottom of the light area in the painting. The rock is positioned in such a way that there is a large cavity beneath it, which can be been used as an overnight shelter for travellers in this remote area.

There will be more about the Shelter Stone in the next post.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/XWeFUfEyjVT2

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #Cairngorms
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The Dounreay Dome

One of the bestl-known landmarks in Caithness is the white dome of Dounreay Nuclear Power Station. The first nuclear facility in Britain was built here in this remote location in the 1950's. Despite the dangers it was generally welcomed by local residents because of the prosperity that it brought to a declining region.

Dounreay is no longer operational and is being decommissioned. Current plans are for the dome to be dismantled, despite calls for it to be preserved as a monument.

Location -https://goo.gl/8jWLPZ

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #nuclear #power
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Reay Church

At the time when the Vikings ruled over a kingdom in Orkney, they also had settlements in Caithness. These were mainly around the north and east coasts, and in those areas there was a significant influence on the language and culture. Some of that legacy can be seen in several Scandinavian-style churches, such as this one at Reay. Other examples are at Dunnet and Canisbay.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/m6sbzvC7RVt

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #churches
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The Lairig Ghru

One of the great mountain passes of Scotland, the Lairig Ghru runs for around 40 km or 25 miles through the Cairngorm Mountains. It has been used for centuries by people travelling from Deeside in the south, to Strathspey in the north. No roads have been built through it so it is still only a rough path. The origin of the name is unclear. The first part is the Scottish Gaelic for 'mountain pass', but the second part could have several different meanings.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/5Rzxn9J9QLM2

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotland #mountains #Cairngorms
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The Chalamain Gap

This is one of the classic walking routes in the Cairngorms. It's a narrow pass filled with large boulders which make progress difficult. The route leads from Glenmore through to the pass of the Lairig Ghru, and then to join the paths climbing Braeriach.

Location - https://goo.gl/maps/5oSD5SqQqEt

#tilleyart #watercolour #painting #Scotaland #mountains
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