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Coordinates: 58°01′N 3°51′W / 58.01°N 3.85°W / 58.01; -3.85
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Harbour Road, Brora
Brora is located in Sutherland
Location within the Sutherland area
Population1,210 (2020)[1]
OS grid referenceNC906039
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBRORA
Postcode districtKW9
Dialling code01408
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
58°01′N 3°51′W / 58.01°N 3.85°W / 58.01; -3.85
Clock Tower War Memorial, dedicated 1922
Brora River from Brora Bridge
Brora Beach

Brora (/ˈbrɔːrə/ BRAW-rə; Scottish Gaelic: Brùra) is a village in the east of Sutherland, in the Highland area of Scotland.

Origin of the name[edit]

The name Brora is derived from Old Norse and means "river with a bridge".[2]


Brora is a small industrial village, having at one time a coal pit, boat building, salt pans, fish curing, lemonade factory, the new Clynelish Distillery (as well as the old Clynelish distillery which is now called the Brora distillery [3]), wool mill, bricks and a stone quarry. The white sandstone in the Clynelish quarry belongs to the Brora Formation, of the Callovian and Oxfordian stages (formerly Middle Oolite) of the Mid-Late Jurassic. Stone from the quarry was used in the construction of London Bridge, Liverpool Cathedral and Dunrobin Castle. When in operation, the coalmine was the most northerly coalmine in the UK. Brora was the first place in the north of Scotland to have electricity thanks to its wool industry. This distinction gave rise to the local nickname of "Electric City" at the time. Brora also houses a baronial style clock tower which is a war memorial.


In 2005, members of the Clyne Heritage Society (CHS) monitored structures eroding from the dunes on the Back Beach, south of the harbour. This was a pilot project for the Shorewatch programme, which aimed to train community groups to search for new archaeological sites and record information on them to be passed on to local and national archives. CHS members found a map, dated 1812, which depicts ‘Old Salt Pans’ marked at the position of the eroding structures. They also found records showing that the ‘Old Salt Pans’ were constructed in 1598 but had gone out of use within a few years.[4]


The village is situated where the A9 road and the Far North Line bridge the River Brora. The village is served by a railway station. Buses operate from Brora by the Stagecoach Highlands X99 service which runs 3 times a day each way during the week, twice a day each way on a Saturday and once a day each way on a Sunday. MacLeods Coaches from Rogart also operate the 906 service through Brora heading to Helmsdale one way and Lairg the other way several times a day during the week.


An education is available for primary school children in Brora Primary School in Johnstone Place. The building was formerly Brora High School, that included the primary department. Although the school opened in 1962, the secondary department closed in 1985. It includes a playgroup, nursery and Primaries 1 to 7. Older children are taken by school transportation to the nearby Golspie High School.[5]


Brora Rangers F.C. were founded in 1879 and have been members of the Highland Football League since 1962. They moved to their present stadium, Dudgeon Park, in 1922. Amongst the local amenities are an 18-hole links golf course designed by James Braid in 1923 for sum of £23, bowling and tennis facilities.

Government listening station[edit]

To the south-east of the village is the former Brora Y Station which operated as a Government listening station between 1940 and 1986.[6]

Notable people from Brora[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ Field, John (1984). Discovering Place Names. Shire Publications. ISBN 978-0852637029.
  3. ^ "Brora". The Wiskey Guide. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Vol 48 (2011): Aeolian archaeology: the archaeology of sand landscapes in Scotland | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". journals.socantscot.org. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Golspie High School Catchment Area Map - Rezzio". 14 May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  6. ^ "How Cheltenham entered America's backyard". New Scientist. 5 April 1984. Archived from the original on 27 December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Megan Boyd". www.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  8. ^ Stanley-Blackwell, Laurie C. C.; MacLennan, Jean M. (2004). "Mackay, Isabella Gordon [Bella] (1777/8–1850), philanthropist and religious activist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/59558. Retrieved 15 August 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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