The Clearance Village of Badbea, Caithness,
*"Woe to thee, oh land, the Great Sheep is coming!"
Welcome to Badbea Families website. It has been compiled by descendants whose ancestors were cleared to Badbea (a clifftop village approximately six miles north of Helmsdale) or who lived there
between as early as 1770 and 1911, when the last resident left.
In around 1793, Highlands landowner
Sir John 'James' Sinclair evicted 80 people belonging to 12
families from the fertile areas of Langwell
Anderson evicted people from Ausdale
in 1804, until the whole of the
Strath of Berriedale from top to bottom together with Ausdale
were all cleared out to create sheep farms.
The evicted families were moved to the sloping cliffs
where they would appear to have joined an existing community.
Our ancestors built their own homes from scratch, using whatever
materials they could to build below a great stone wall, designed
to protect the landowner's flocks of sheep, and the edge of dangerous
cliffs above Berriedale. The
Clearances, one of the most cruel and hotly debated periods
in the history
of the Highlands, were happening.
In 1830, Donald Horne
removed families from Auchencraig to Badbea, and to make room, in the early 1840s, he evicted families who had lived at Badbea all their lives, such as the remaining families of John Gunn and John 'Cairn' Sutherland.
The families and their descendants faced numerous hardships at
Badbea for more than 100 years, until the last inhabitant left
in 1911. This site, produced by and on behalf of their descendants,
celebrates their lives and tells some of the stories they passed
down to their children and grandchildren, so that their fortitude
may be remembered by future generations.