Birth place of prolific author, critic and dramatist, Neil Gunn (1891-1973) who was one of the leading lights of the Scottish Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. Gunn was born in the house next to the village shop which bears a plaque above the door commemorating this event.
Gunn wrote primarily with the Highland communities and landscapes of his youth such as in The Silver Darlings and Highland River. Of Dunbeath's landscape, Neil Gunn wrote: "These small straths, like the Strath of Dunbeath, have this intimate beauty. In boyhood we get to know every square yard of it. We encompass it physically and our memories hold it. Birches, hazel trees for nutting, pools with trout and an occasionally visible salmon, river-flats with the wind on the bracken and disappearing rabbit scuts, a wealth of wild flower and small bird life, the soaring hawk, the unexpected roe, the ancient graveyard, thoughts of the folk who once lived far inland in straths and hollows, the past and the present held in a moment of day-dream." (Neil M Gunn, 'My Bit of Britain', 1941.)
This is part of the Dunbeath Strath Heritage Trail, pick up a guide at the Dunbeath Heritage Centre.
Dunbeath Heritage Centre
Area: Wick & East
OS Grid Reference: ND 1611 2983