The Seaboard Villages are full of history and heritage.
THE SCULPTURE TRAIL
The Seaboard Villages boasts 5 public works inspired by themes that reflect the history and characteristics of the area: Folklore, Fortitude, Fishing, the Four corners of the earth and Faith. These were installed in 2007 . Please click here to download the Seaboard Sculpture Trail flyer.
The Seaboard Villages boasts 5 public works inspired by themes that reflect the history and characteristics of the area: Folklore, Fortitude, Fishing, the Four corners of the earth and Faith. These were installed in 2007.
In the Seaboard villages, religious beliefs coexisted with legends and folklore became part of the historical background of the place, so now we have the ‘Mermaid of the North’ as a reminder of these old stories. She sits upon a rock- named ‘Clach Dubh’ (black rock in Gaelic) – in Balintore.
In 2012 the mermaid was damaged by a severe storm. Originally made from wood and resin, she was not strong enough to withstand the stormy weather. In 2014 the mermaid was replaced with a bronze cast model.
The Mermaid’s origins are deep rooted in Easter Ross folklore; legend tells that once a fisherman stole a beautiful mermaid away to be his wife and hid her tail. Years later, after bearing his children, she found her tail and escaped back to sea, returning regularly to the shore to bring fish to her hungry children.
Fortitude is represented by Effie of the Two Oars who went alone to retrieve a fishing boat abandoned at Geanies when men fled from the ‘press gang’ who would have forced them into the navy. This image was beautifully depicted by the artist John McNaught.
These giant salmon were sculpted by Stephen Hayward and symbolise the reliance on, and endurance of, fishing for cod, haddock, herring and salmon in the villages.
The Four corners of the Earth
Many inhabitants of the Seaboard villages emigrated and travelled across the globe, although many were also to return. A compass rose set in the ground marks the beginning and end of these journeys.
John Ross (1842-1914) was brought up in the immediate area, trained as a minister and a missionary, and took his Christian faith to China and Korea. He was a notable scholar, fluent in 11 languages, and was the first to translate the New Testament into Korean. Not many in Scotland have heard of John Ross, but he is very famous in Korea with universities and libraries named after him.
THE SHANDWICK STONE
The Shandwick Stone stands above the village. Locals concerned about the erosion of the stone formed the Shandwick Trust and it is now protected from the elements in a glass box. There is a local custom that unbaptised babies who had died during birth were buried near to the stone.
HILTON OF CADBOLL STONE REPLICA
This replica of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone was carved by sculptor Barry Grove and is sited at the St Mary’s chapel site at the north end of Hilton.
The original Hilton of Cadboll Stone is one of the most magnificent of all Pictish cross-slabs and can be dated about 800AD.
THE ACTUAL BASE OF THE HILTON OF CADBOLL STONE
ON DISPLAY WITHIN A GLASS CABINET LOCATED IN THE CAFE OF THE SEABOARD MEMORIAL HALL
This is the lower part of the original Hilton of Cadboll Stone and is now displayed in the Seaboard Centre Cafe. The original top part of the Hilton of Cadboll Stone is now in the National Museum in Edinburgh.
Information on all the stones can be found in the book ‘The Stones of the Pictish Peninsulas’ available from the Seaboard Centre. Further information can also be found at the Tarbat Discovery Centre Website.