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Gaelic: Innis nan Damh
Inchnadamph with Stronchrubie Crag behind
Grid reference: NC250216
Location: 58°8’57"N, 4°58’29"W
Post town: Lairg
Postcode: IV27
Dialling code: 01571
Local Government
Council: Highland
Caithness, Sutherland
and Easter Ross

Inchnadamph is a hamlet in the parish of Assynt in Sutherland. Its name is an anglicisation of the Gaelic name Innis nan Damh meaning 'meadow of the stags'. It is a place in keeping with Assynt in general: a remote area with few living souls to be found. Inchnadamph contains a few houses, a lodge and a hotel.


Inchnadamph Caves

The 'Bone Caves' of Inchnadamph contain relics of Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Arctic Fox, Reindeer (dated to as long ago as 47,000 BP), the only evidence of Polar Bears so far found in Britain, and human skeletons dated to the 3rd millennium BC.[1][2][3]

The skeleton of a bear thought to be 11,000 years old or more was removed from the caves in 2008. The bones had originally been found by cavers in 1995 deep within the Uamh an Claonaite system and the original supposition was that this was the remains of a Cave Bear. The bones were passed on to the National Museums Scotland, to determine the age and species. It is presumed the animal died whilst hibernating and that its body was later washed further into the underground network.[4]


Peach and Horne monument

The ruins of Ardvreck Castle lie nearby on the shores of Loch Assynt. The castle was badly damaged in a thunderstorm in 1795.

The Old Parish Church of Assynt is located in the village and pieces of an old Celtic cross have been found, dating from the 8th to the 11th century.[5]


The Moine Thrust runs through the area, which draws many geologists to the village, and who can find accommodation in the Assynt Field Centre (Inchnadamph Lodge) or at Inchnadamph Hotel.

Nearby there is a monument to the work of Ben Peach and John Horne whose work was crucial in the understanding of this, the first thrust fault to be discovered anywhere in the world. The monument's inscription reads: "To Ben N Peach and John Horne who played the foremost part in unravelling the geological structure of the North West Highlands 1883-1897. An international tribute. Erected 1930". The hotel retains a copy of the guest book signed by many prominent geologists of the day who visited during the 1912 British Association for the Advancement of Science excursion to Assynt.[6]

See also


  1. McKenzie, Steven (10 December 2007) New tests on rare polar bear find"
  2. Murray, W H (1977) The Companion Guide to the West Highlands of Scotland. London. Collins. Murray states the skeletons were dated to 6000 BC.
  3. "Inchnadamph Bone Caves " SNH Retrieved 29 July 2008. This source and McKenzie (2007) mentions dates of 4515 and 4720 BP for the human remains.
  4. Restan, Sue (29 July 2008) "Bear skeleton finally taken from cave in Sutherland". Aberdeen. The Press and Journal.
  5. "Inchnadamph Area List". Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  6. Dryburgh, P.M. et al. (1995) Assynt: The Geologists' Mecca. Edinburgh Geological Society.