Ord of Caithness

Geographic coordinate system Helmsdale Francis Groome
Ord of Caithness
The Ord - geograph.org.uk - 149356.jpg
The Ord, seen from the west, from the A9 road on the other side of Ord Burn
Map showing the location of Ord of Caithness
Map showing the location of Ord of Caithness
Location in Scotland
OS gridND056178
Coordinates58°8′22″N 3°36′15″W / 58.13944°N 3.60417°W / 58.13944; -3.60417Coordinates: 58°8′22″N 3°36′15″W / 58.13944°N 3.60417°W / 58.13944; -3.60417
Elevation198 metres (650 ft)

The Ord of Caithness is a granite mass on the east coast of the Highland council area of Scotland, on the boundary of the counties Sutherland and Caithness. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) north-east of Helmsdale. It forms a headland 198 metres (650 ft) high, known as Ord Point. The A9 road passes above the Ord; there are sharp bends as it follows the contours.[1]


Historically, "the grim barrier of the Ord guaranteed its [i.e. Caithness's] isolation, and travellers who passed that way were greatly impressed by the experience."[2] It was described in the 1880s: "The old road over it, formerly the only land ingress to Caithness, traversed the crest of its stupendous seaward precipices at a height and in a manner most appalling to both man and beast... even the present road, formed in 1811... has very stiff gradients."[3]


  1. ^ Ord of Caithness Gazetteer for Scotland, accessed 8 August 2016.
  2. ^ James Miller, Caithness. Skilton & Shaw, 1979. Page 97.
  3. ^ Francis Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1882–4. Quoted in Ord of Caithness Vision of Britain, accessed 8 August 2016.