|Clearances - Badbea|
Badbea is on the East coast of Caithness, about five
miles North of Helmsdale. When the Straths of Langwell, Ousdale and
Berriedale were cleared for the establishment of sheep farms, evicted
tenants settled in Badbea and hacked out plots of land on the steep
In 1814 the Estate was sold to James Horne and the population numbered around 80 people comprising of 12 families.
The families were industrious and frugal. Every house had its spinning wheel; spinning and carding were learnt by all the young women.
Fishing was the main employment. Tons of fish could be landed in a day with fish put aside for the widows with young children.
At one time there were 13 fishing boats at Berriedale, which would go out and fish for herring. Women would tether their children and chickens to the rocks while they spent their days gutting the fish, unfortunately, Donald Horne decided to do away with herring fishing for salmon fishing and so another form of employment was gone.
There was some trifling work to be got occasionally on the estate, but the rate of wages was very low. If any young man had the courage to go and work beyond the estate his parents would suffer by being turned out of their house.
The monument was
erected in 1911 by Donald Sutherland in memory of the people of Badbea
including his father, Alexander Sutherland, who was born in Badbea in
1806 and emigrated to New Zealand in 1839. Also listed are the names
of some of the other inhabitants of the village. Many emigrated to New
Zealand and North America, the last inhabitant leaving in 1911.