Watten, Highland

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Church of Scotland, Watten - geograph.org.uk - 244027.jpg
Watten Parish Church
Caithness UK location map.svg
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Location within the Caithness area
OS grid reference ND242544
Council area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town THURSO
Postcode district KW14
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
List of places
58°28′31″N3°18′03″W / 58.47526°N 3.3008°W / 58.47526; -3.3008 Coordinates: 58°28′31″N3°18′03″W / 58.47526°N 3.3008°W / 58.47526; -3.3008

Watten (Scottish Gaelic : Bhatan) is a small village in Caithness, in the Highland area of Scotland, on the main road (A882-A9) between the burgh of Wick and the town of Thurso, about twelve kilometres (eight miles) west of Wick and close to Wick River and to Loch Watten. The village is on The Far North railway line but trains stopped calling at the village in 1960. The railway station is now a private house.

Caithness Historic county in Scotland

Caithness is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland.

Highland (council area) Council area of Scotland

Highland is a council area in the Scottish Highlands and is the largest local government area in the United Kingdom. It was the 7th most populous council area in Scotland at the 2011 census. It shares borders with the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Moray and Perth and Kinross. Their councils, and those of Angus and Stirling, also have areas of the Scottish Highlands within their administrative boundaries.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.


The village is within the parish of Watten, which has the parish of Bower to the north, that of Wick to the east, that of Latheron to the south and that of Halkirk to the west.

Bower, Highland human settlement in United Kingdom

Bower is a village and civil parish in Highland, Scotland It is 10 miles from Thurso and around 11 miles from Wick. Bower is served by Wick, Thurso and Castletown for shopping, taxis and post offices.

Latheron human settlement

Latheron is a small village and civil parish in Caithness, in the Highland area of Scotland, centred on the junction of the A9 with the A99.

Halkirk village on the River Thurso in Caithness, Scotland

Halkirk is a village on the River Thurso in Caithness, in the Highland council area of Scotland. From Halkirk the B874 road runs towards Thurso in the north and towards Georgemas in the east. The village is within the parish of Halkirk, and is said by locals to be Scotland's first planned village.

Loch Watten is the largest body of water in Caithness. The name of the village and loch appear to come from the Old Norse Vatn, meaning water or lake, and the loch is famous for its brown trout fishing. [ citation needed ] The local public house is also named "The Brown Trout" after the local produce.

Old Norse North Germanic language

Old Norse was a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 9th to the 13th centuries.

Brown trout Species of fish

The brown trout is a European species of salmonid fish that has been widely introduced into suitable environments globally. It includes both purely freshwater populations, referred to as the riverine ecotype, Salmo trutta morpha fario, and a lacustrine ecotype, S. trutta morpha lacustris, also called the lake trout, as well as anadromous forms known as the sea trout, S. trutta morpha trutta. The latter migrates to the oceans for much of its life and returns to fresh water only to spawn. Sea trout in Ireland and Britain have many regional names: sewin in Wales, finnock in Scotland, peal in the West Country, mort in North West England, and white trout in Ireland.

Prisoner of war camp

A military camp was built in Watten during World War II, in early 1943, and at the end of the war this became POW Camp 165. [1] This had been described as "Britain's most secretive prisoner of war camp" because many prominent Nazis were moved there from POW Camp 21 at Comrie in Perthshire. [2] [3] These prisoners included Gunter d'Alquen, Himmler's chief propagandist, leading U-boat captain Otto Kretschmer, dubbed the "Wolf of the Atlantic", and SS-Sturmbannführer Max Wünsche, one of Hitler's top aides. The camp closed in 1948.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Comrie village in the United Kingdom

Comrie is a village and parish in the southern Highlands of Scotland, towards the western end of the Strathearn district of Perth and Kinross, 7 miles (11 km) west of Crieff. Comrie is a historic conservation village, situated in a national scenic area around the river Earn. Located on the Highland Boundary Fault, the village experiences more earth tremors than anywhere else in Britain. It is twinned with Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada.

Perthshire registration county in central Scotland

Perthshire, officially the County of Perth, is a historic county and registration county in central Scotland. Geographically it extends from Strathmore in the east, to the Pass of Drumochter in the north, Rannoch Moor and Ben Lui in the west, and Aberfoyle in the south; its borders the counties of Inverness-shire and Aberdeenshire to the north, Angus to the east, Fife, Kinross-shire, Clackmannanshire, Stirlingshire and Dunbartonshire to the south and Argyllshire to the west. It was a local government county from 1890 to 1930.

Notable people

Watten was the birthplace of Alexander Bain, inventor of a type of pendulum-regulated electric clock and the fax machine. Bain is commemorated by a carved stone monument outside the village hall. The fax machine is referred to on this monument as "The Electric Printing Telegraph".

Alexander Bain (inventor) British clockmaker

Alexander Bain was a Scottish inventor and engineer who was first to invent and patent the electric clock. He installed the railway telegraph lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Related Research Articles

Thurso town in Caithness, Scotland

Thurso is a town and former burgh on the north coast of the Highland council area of Scotland. Situated in the historical area of Caithness, it is the northernmost town on the British mainland.

Sutherland Historic county in Scotland

Sutherland is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area in the Highlands of Scotland. Its county town is Dornoch. Sutherland borders Caithness and Moray Firth to the east, Ross-shire and Cromartyshire to the south and the Atlantic to the north and west. Like its southern neighbour Ross-shire, Sutherland has some of the most dramatic scenery in the whole of Europe, especially on its western fringe where the mountains meet the sea. These include high sea cliffs, and very old mountains composed of Precambrian and Cambrian rocks.

Wick, Caithness town and royal burgh in Caithness, Scotland

Wick is a town and royal burgh in Caithness, in the far north of Scotland. The town straddles the River Wick and extends along both sides of Wick Bay. Wick Locality had a population of 6,954 at the time of the 2011 census, a decrease of 3.8% from 2001.

Lairg human settlement in the United Kingdom

Lairg is a village and parish in Sutherland, Scotland. It has a population of 891 and is at the south-eastern end of Loch Shin.

Wick River river in the United Kingdom

Wick River, known also as River Wick, is a river in Caithness in Highland, Scotland. It has its source at the confluence of Scouthal Burn and Strath Burn near Achingale Mill at the northern end of Bardarclay Moss in the Flow Country. The river estuary, is in the North Sea bay of Wick and is straddled by the town of Wick. The source is at a height of about 25 metres, about 11 kilometres west and 2 kilometres north of the estuary.

Watten may refer to:

Loch Burn is a stream that flows out of the eastern end of Loch Watten in Caithness, in the Highland area of Scotland, at a height of around 20 metres and about one kilometre north/northeast of the village of Watten. Less than a kilometre east of its source at Loch Watten the burn flows into Wick River.

River Thurso river in Scotland

The River Thurso has Loch Rumsdale in Caithness as its source, about 26 kilometres south and 14 kilometres west of the burgh of Thurso, Caithness, and about 2 kilometres south of the railway line linking the burghs of Thurso and Wick with Inverness. At its source and until it reaches Loch More the river is known also as Strathmore Water. Caithness is in the Highland area of Scotland.

The A882 road is entirely within Caithness in the Highland area of Scotland. It has a length of about 23 kilometres (14 mi) and runs generally west/northwest from the A99 in the county town of Wick to the A9 in the Georgemas area.

Altnabreac railway station scottish railway station

Altnabreac railway station is a rural railway station serving the area of Altnabreac, in the Highland council area of Scotland; a settlement in which the station is itself the main component. The station is on the Far North Line, within the former county of Caithness, 23 miles (37 km) as the crow flies west of Wick. It is on the private dirt road between Loch More and Forsinain, which is marked as a cycle trail on Ordnance Survey maps.

Loch Watten lake in the United Kingdom

Loch Watten is a loch in the River Wick drainage basin in Caithness, Scotland. The name is a tautology, consisting of the word "loch" and vatn, a Norse word meaning the very same, found in such names as "Þingvallavatn" and Myvatn in Iceland, and "Røssvatnet" and "Møsvatn" in Norway.

Watten railway station

Watten was a railway station located at the east end of Loch Watten, Highland between Halkirk and Wick, Scotland.

Ulbster human settlement in United Kingdom

Ulbster is a scattered crofting hamlet on the eastern coast of Caithness, within the parish of Wick, in the Scottish Highlands, within the Highland Council area.The town of Wick is located seven miles north of the village along the A99 road. To the south of the village, two miles along the A99, lies the ancient port of Whaligoe, where the famous 330 steps were cut into a cliff on the instruction of Thomas Telford in 1786.

Gillock human settlement in United Kingdom

Gillock is a small village in Caithness, the north part of the Highland council area of Scotland. It is 262 miles north of Edinburgh, situated between the towns of Wick and Thurso. The village is located at grid reference ND210595, on the B874 road.

Glen Falloch Halt railway station or Glenfalloch Platform railway station was a remote rural railway station in Glen Falloch, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Opened in 1946 by the LNER, it was located in Glen Falloch on the Ardlui side of the viaduct, but reported out of use by around 1948.

Inveruglas was a remote temporary private railway station near the hamlet of Inveruglas, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Opened in 1945 by the LNER, it was built in connection with the construction of the Sloy Hydro-Electric facility and was located on the Ardlui side of the Inveruglas Viaduct and recorded to be out of use by around 1948.

Faslane Platform railway station or Faslane Junction Platform railway station was a temporary private railway station located near the Stuckendoff PoW camp, Shandon, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Opened in 1945 by the LNER in connection with the construction of the Loch Sloy Hydro-Electric facility and was located on the Shandon side of the Chapel Burn and recorded to be out of use by around 1949 in the British Railways era.


  1. PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS (1939 – 1948), English Heritage 2003
  2. Camp 165 Watten Scotland's Most Secretive Prisoner of War Camp, Valerie Campbell, Whittles Publishing 2008, ISBN   978-1-904445-60-9
  3. New book provides insight into Watten POW camp, John O'Groat Journal 14 December 2007

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