For our visitors to The Old Granary and Customs House Littleferry may seem like a remote haven of calm, but for many, this quiet hamlet is best known as the location of The Battle of Littleferry. The skirmish famously took place during the Jacobite Rising in 1746 just before the Battle of Culloden.

Despite being loyal to the Hanoverian Government, William, the 17th Earl of Sutherland failed to rally his clan against the Jacobite cause as quickly as some of those in power may have liked. Giving rise to a suspicion in London that Sutherland may be disloyal.

The Old Granary views - Dunrobin Holiday Cottages, Caithness
Loch Fleet Nature Reserve surrounds The Old Granary | Dunrobin Cottages

However the Jacobite leaders also doubted Sutherland’s loyalty, and, as a result, the Earl of Cromartie and 500 of his men were sent to Dunrobin Castle to engage the Earl of Sutherland. As Cromartie’s force stormed the Castle, the Earl of Sutherland escaped through the back door. Having failed in their mission Cromartie and his men went to re‐join Bonnie Prince Charlie at Inverness. However before they could reach their destination, Cromartie’s men were ambushed at Littleferry by two Highland Independent Companies: Clan Sutherland and Clan Mackay.

Believing that all of Sutherland’s followers had dispersed, the Jacobite officers had allowed their men to march ahead of them; however, this was not the case. Sutherland men lurked in the hills above Culmaily and swept down attacking the gap between the rebel officers and their men on foot. Most of the officers were captured; many men were killed, and the rest were driven onto the beach at Littleferry, where many drowned attempting to swim across Loch Fleet. Most of Cromartie’s men were captured or killed, denying Bonnie Prince Charlie his much‐needed reinforcements at the Battle of Culloden.

So while you relax in front of an open fire and look out across Loch Fleet, remember those that went before you and how different our history could have been.