The Village So Windy That Cattle and Children Had To Be Tied Down

Badbea — pronounced bad-bay — is a village perched on the steep slopes above the cliff tops of Berriedale on the east coast of Caithness, Scotland. The village was settled in the 18th century by families evicted from their homes when the villages of Langwell, Ousdale and Berriedale were cleared for the establishment of sheep farms. The last resident left the village in 1911, and today the ruins of the village are preserved as a tourist attraction. There was only one horse in Badbea, but no plough. Each house had its own spinning wheel, and all the women learned to spin. The men worked mainly as herring fishermen, and the women gutted the fish that were caught. The village’s location was so windy that while the women worked, their livestock and even their children were tethered to rocks or posts to prevent them from being blown over the cliffs, which had no safety fences at the time. Despite the gales that blew off the fierce North Sea winds, the village was occupied for more than 100 years.