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Another Caithness castle climber spotted 'dicing with death'


By David G Scott

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After last week's article about people seen clambering over walls at the Castle of Old Wick, videos have been shared of another climber in action – this time on Bucholie Castle near Freswick.

Michelle Matheson was in a field close to the castle on Monday at around 4.30pm when she saw a figure standing on one of its walls, right next to a sheer cliff.

Bucholie Castle is sited on sheer cliffs near Freswick on the NC500 route. The figure could be seen climbing the steep incline over the left hand side window. Picture: DGS
Bucholie Castle is sited on sheer cliffs near Freswick on the NC500 route. The figure could be seen climbing the steep incline over the left hand side window. Picture: DGS

She shot some short videos showing the person climbing up a steep part of the forbidding 12th century fortress that is reputed to have been the home of Sweyn Asliefson, the Caithness-born scion of a noble Norse family.

"We were gathering sheep and there were two of them standing on it at one point," said Michelle.

When she posted the video on a Facebook page called NC500 The Dirty Truth, it led to negative comments from members of the group with one saying: "Yea I never remember anyone doing that c*** before the NC500. Bring back the good old days."

The video comes after a similar scene was witnessed at Old Wick Castle last week when two climbers were photographed by Wick man Derek Bremner as they stood on its walls. The Caithness civic leader, Willie Mackay, was incensed over the image saying that it was "absolutely disgraceful [and] with obviously little or no respect for the Castle Of Old Wick".

Derek Bremner from Wick captured this image of people on the walls of Old Wick Castle last week. He saw a similar event a year before as well.
Derek Bremner from Wick captured this image of people on the walls of Old Wick Castle last week. He saw a similar event a year before as well.

Wick and East Caithness councillor Raymond Bremner added to the public rebuke of the castle climbers by saying that the first thought he had on watching the Bucholie video clip was that the person was obviously "dicing with death".

"I'm not certain why people would seem to climb these structures for a thrill when it is the height of disrespect and could lead to certain death or serious injury," added Cllr Bremner.

Bucholie Castle is sited on sheer cliffs near Freswick on the NC500 route. Picture: DGS
Bucholie Castle is sited on sheer cliffs near Freswick on the NC500 route. Picture: DGS

"Whether local or visitor, I really would ask everyone to respect the history of our area, to enjoy our county safely and to leave visitor sites as they were found."

Sweyn Asliefson's original castle, built around 1140, was superseded by the present structure which resembles Girnigoe castle (late 15th century) in its construction. Bucholie sits on a very narrow strip of land cut through at the neck by a dry ditch and is surrounded by 100ft high cliffs.

Related article:

Old Wick Castle climbing 'clowns' slammed



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