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Gaelic: Cul Raoin
Village of Culrain.jpg
Location: 57°55’11"N, 4°24’26"W
Post town: Ardgay
Postcode: IV24
Local Government
Council: Highland

Culrain is a small village in northern Ross-shire, adjacent to the border with Sutherland.[1]


It lies west of Ardgay, beside the Kyle of Sutherland, where several rivers converge to flood into the sea through lush water meadows.


James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was defeated here, at the Battle of Carbisdale, in 1650, in what proved to be the beginning of his end.

In March 1650 Montrose landed in Orkney from Denmark to take the command of a small force which he had sent on before him. Crossing to the mainland, he tried in vain to raise the clans, and on 27 April he was surprised and routed at the Battle of Carbisdale. His forces were defeated in battle but he cowardly fled, leaving his men behind to be slaughtered. After wandering for some time he was surrendered by Neil MacLeod of Assynt at Ardvreck Castle, to whose protection, in ignorance of MacLeod's political enmity, he had entrusted himself. He was brought a prisoner to Edinburgh, and on 20 May sentenced to death by the parliament. He was hanged on the 21st, with Wishart's laudatory biography of him put round his neck. To the last he protested that he was a real Covenanter and a loyal subject.

For a number of years Culrain was also the home of the sculptor Ann Henderson (RSA).

Surrounding area

Overlooking the Kyle of Sutherland is the early 20th-century Carbisdale Castle. This was home to the exiled King of Norway during the German occupation of Norway during World War II.


Trains between Inverness and Thurso stop at Culrain railway station before crossing the Shin Viaduct to Invershin in Sutherland. The two stations are just a mile apart, the shortest distance between two stations on the UK network. Road traffic must make a nine-mile detour via Bonar Bridge, although pedestrians can use footbridge adjacent to the viaduct, opened in May 2000.


Ross roundel.svg
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