John o Groats

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The John o Groats signpaul an hostil in 2007
The Duncansby Heid lichthouss in 2007

John o Groats (Scots Gaelic: Taigh Iain Ghròt) is a wee veilage in the Caithness coontie an Hieland cooncil aurie o Scotland. It byds naur Duncansby Heid at the ferr nor'eistren tip o the Caithness hauf-iland, owerluikin Orkney. It is maist weil-kent as ane end o the Land's End ti John o Groats trail atwein Great Breetain's soothwastrenmaist settilment (Land's End in Cornwall) an its northeistrenmaist settilment (John o Groats). This haes made it popular wi toorists. The sawe Land's End ti John o Groats is aften bruikit ti mein "the hail o Gret Breetain".

John o Groats is forordnar thocht ti be Gret Breetain's northrenmaist pynt or settilment. Houaniver, the true northrenmaist pynt is Dunnet Heid an the northrenmaist settilment is the clachan o Skarfskerry, baith no ferr til the wast o John o Groats.

Fowk frae the veilage ar kent as "Groatsers".

Name an historie[eedit | eedit soorce]

The veilage taks its name frae Jan de Groote, a Dutchman wha flittit til the aurie in aboot 1489. In 1496 he gat a grant for a ferrie frae the Scots mainland til Orkney. The name haes whyls been spelt John O'Groats, John O'Groat's, John o' Groat's an siklyk. Houaniver, the spellin John o Groats is forordnar held ti be the richt ane. Fowklore haes it that the name meins "John o the groats" acaus the Dutchman wad chairge ane groat (an auld kynd o cuinyie) for the ferrie til Orkney.

The first recordit walk atwein John o Groats an Land's End wis unnertaen bi the brithers John an Robert Naylor in 1871. A local hirder telt thaim a tale aboot the aurie, that thay wrat doun an whilk haes been owerset intil Scots anaith:

John o' Groat wis a fisherman belangin ti Holland wha wis caucht whan at sie in a gret storm, whilk skaithed his sails sae that his boat drifted amaist daeless athort the sie. Whan he cam in sicht o the Scots coast he wis brocht wi the birth intil the Pentland Firth, an as he cud nae mend the sails in the boat [...] he waled ti land on ane o the ilands an mend thaim on shore. His wyf gainstaundit his landin on Stroma, as she thocht it wis a forhou'd iland, sae he gat his boat athort frae thar til the Scots coast. Houaniver, whan he ettilt ti land at Huna, the natives gainstaundit his landin, for thay thocht he wis a pirate. Luckie for him he haed sum cags o gin in his boat, an whan the cannie Scots saw thir thay becam mair freinlie [...] an sae thay lit him land, an e'en helpit him ti mend his sails. Eftir, thay lit him byd amang thaim on fettil that he steyd on the sieshore an that he biggit his houss thar. He gat on weil amang his new freins, an in tym becam thair cheif an haed echt sons. Ane blyth tyd, whan aw his sons cam ti see him, thay threapit as ti wha shud sit at the heid o his buird, sae John telt thaim that the neist tym thay cam he wad hae things sae redd as til evyt thon kynd o thing in the futur. Forby he biggit a hail new houss wi echt syds til it an a dure in ilk, an made a buird insyd o the same shape, sae that whan thay cam ti see him agin ilk o thaim cud gang in bi his ain dure an sit at his ain heid o the buird.

The John o Groats Houss Hostil wis biggit on or naur the steid o Jan de Groot's auld houss in aboot 1875. Awtho the hostil haes sin shut, hit wis beskrived bi Hielands an Ilands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant as "one of the UK's most famous landmarks".