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Halkirk

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Halkirk is a village on the River Thurso in Caithness, in the Highland council area of Scotland. From Halkirk the B874 road runs towards Thurso in the north and towards Georgemas in the east. The village is within the parish of Halkirk, and is said by local people to be Scotland's first planned village.CathedralIt was at one time the site of the cathedral of the Diocese of Caithness, but this was moved to Dornoch in the early 13th century. There are no remains of the early church and bishop's seat.Historic distilleriesHalkirk has had two whisky distilleries, Gerston from 1796 to 1885, and Ben Morven (also known as Gerston II) from 1886 to circa 1911. Both were established on the banks of the River Thurso, near Gerston Farm, and both drew water from Calder Burn. The Ben Morven distillery was named for the mountain, the highest point in Caithness.The original Gerston distillery was first registered by a Francis Swanson, and was expanded by two sons, John and James, in 1825. Sir Robert Peel is said to have acquired a taste for the whisky. The distillery closed not long after it was sold to new owners in 1872, and a London company, calling themselves the Gerston Distillery Company, decided to build a new distillery.
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