Latheron Combination, Caithness
The Latheron Combination was formed in around 1853 and comprised the parishes of Latheron and Wick, which in 1881 had a combined population of 19,497.
The Latheron Combination Poorhouse was located at the east side of the Causeway Mire Road to the north of Latheron at Braehungie. It was erected in the late 1850s and could accommodate up to 50 inmates, although appears never to have approached being full. The poorhouse location and layout are shown on the 1870s OS map below:
In around 1925, the Latheron poorhouse became the Latheron Town and County Home.
In 1946, it had accommodation for 50 inmates including 8 chronic sick beds and 3 for maternity cases although there was no labour room. An official report at the time found that 'the building is dark and damp, and quite unsuitable for chronic sick or for any other type of case; it has been condemned'.
Shortly afterwards, the larger part of the building was dismantled and the stone used to build the Council Houses in Latheron Lane, Ullapool. The remains are now used as a sheltered area for lambing.
Following the closure of the Latheron Home, its functions were transferred to Forse House just to the north of Latheron. Forse House was built in 1753 by Captain John Sutherland of Forse and still operates as a residential care home.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Caithness Archive Centre, Wick Library, Sinclair Terrace, Wick KW1 5AB, Scotland. Holdings include: Admissions register (1863-1949); General ledger (1879-90); Minute books (1857-1904); etc.
- Thanks to Jimmy Miller for information on Latheron poorhouse.
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