Castletown Heritage Society operates the Castlehill Heritage Centre as an educational resource for visitors, local students and school children and the local community. Through a programme of interpretive exhibitions and interactive workshops, we seek to stimulate and sustain interest in and understanding of the history, heritage, vernacular skills, biodiversity and physical environment of Castletown and the parish of Olrig. Our aim is to preserve and maintain the unique heritage of our community within both local Caithness and broader Highland contexts.
The Castlehill Heritage Centre builds on our earlier achievements - visitors can walk round the Heritage Trail which outlines the stages of the production of the stone, while an adjoining Sculpture Trail within the community woodland, demonstrates some artistic uses of the material.
The buildings started life as a farm steading and dairy, dating back to the seventeenth century. Work to convert and bring them into service as a Heritage Centre has been undertaken in a staged manner as funding become available.
The first phase was to convert the old dairy at the north end of the building into a flexible 75m² exhibition area. Work started in earnest late 2006 with the commissioning of the building water supply, the closing off of redundant windows and doors and installation of a security system. In January 2007 work got underway to install a new ceiling, stud partitions, fire doors, plasterboard, insulation, exhibition lighting, power, data network, a basic galley kitchen and an underfloor heating system. The office and toilet facilities were also completed at this time.