Wolf Burn Distillery


This ribble of stones is all that remains of what was formerly the most northerly distillery on the British mainland, and even less exists in the historical record. Even earnest and knowledgeable local historians know little, as it appears that most mentions are of how other sites or events related to the distillery: never it itself.

What can be gleaned is that it operated for a few decades in the mid 19th Century, being owned by one William Smith (not the founder of the Boys Brigade). It appears on the first O.S. map of Caithness, from 1872 but had been abandoned by 1877.


The Wolf Burn itself runs for about a mile on moorland behind the Ormlie housing estate in Thurso. Its issue is by Burnside, on one side of the Thurso pillbox.

I’m not sure where its source is, but suspect it’s subterranean as, even during the highest flooding, the water’s always relatively clear: presumably this was why the distillery was built there..

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2 Responses to “Wolf Burn Distillery”

  1. cieldequimper Says:

    Amazing that so little is left of it.

  2. thursodailyphoto Says:

    Sic transit gloria mundi… it’s good to be sick in a van on the first day of the week.

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