The estate of Langwell is in the parish of Latheron.
In 2002 it was owned by descendants of the Duke of Portland
Some photos can be seen on www.caithness.org/atoz/countryhouses/langwellhouse
The modern estate of Langwell was formerly known as Berriedale, and was possessed by two families of Sutherlands .Those of the first family, descended from John Begg, son of Nicolas, Earl of Sutherland, were styled "Sutherlands of Berriedale", and the other family, whose immediate progenitors were the Sutherlands of Forse, descended from Kenneth, a younger brother of John Begg, were known as the "Sutherlands of Langwell". Berriedale originally belonged to the Cheynes, and it, together with Duffus (Dove House), in Morayshire, was acquired by the Sutherlands through the marriage of one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Ranald, "Lord Cheyne", to Nicolas Sutherland, brother to William, Earl of Sutherland. From the Sutherlands the lands came, also by marriage, into the family of Oliphant; and they were thereafter acquired by the Caithness family of Sutherlands. In the seventeenth century the estate then known as Langwell was acquired from Lord Breadalbane by William McIan or Sutherland, grandson of Alexander Sutherland of Forse. Mr. Calder has a story of a "William Sutherland of Berriedale, a young man of gigantic stature, "who accompanied John, Earl of Caithness, in his disastrous expedition to Orkney, in 1529, and who, he says, was proprietor of Berriedale, and ancestor of the Brabster family. In 1451 there was a William Sutherland of Berriedale, the son and apparent heir of Alexander Sutherland of Duffus, and whose second son, William, was laird of Quarrelwood. Quarrelwood had also a son, William, who was fifth Baron of Duffus, and his son and heir, William, was killed at Thurso in 1529, that being the same year in which, according to Calder, William Sutherland of Berriedale was slain in Orkney. But even if there really had been a William Sutherland of Berriedale in the Orkney expedition, he was not an ancestor of the Sinclair-Sutherlands of Brabster, for, beyond question, their Sutherland connection is derived from the Forse branch of the Sutherlands of Langwell.
ALEXANDER SUTHERLAND, ninth laird of Forse, who succeeded his father in 1602, had a son, John, in Rangag, a township on the estate of Forse. John Sutherland had at least two sons, William and David, of whom the elder seems to have been William, commonly called "McIan" (son of John), and in 1660 he and his father were joint tacksmen of Langwell. In 1664 William Sutherland obtained a wadset on Langwell from the Earl of Caithness; in 1691 he got further wadset rights, including therein the lands of Risgill, in favour of himself and his son, James, from Lord Breadalbane; and in the same year they acquired an absolute heritable right to these lands. Thus William McIan or Sutherland was the first Sutherland of Langwell.
David, the second son of John Sutherland in Rangag, is designed "of Langwell", and he may have been a wadsetter of these lands. He seems to have had several children, but we find notice only of his" eldest son", John, who was his executor, and who in 1678 granted an assignation in favour of James Sutherland of Ausdale, his cousin-german, of a bond for 600 merks which had been granted by his grand-uncle, James of Forse, to his" good sir", John in Rangag, and by him assigned to his son, David, the father of John Sutherland.
I. WILLIAM SUTHERLAND or McIAN had several children: -
In 1669 he married his cousin, Elspeth, daughter of James Sutherland of Forse, and widow of John Sutherland of Ausdale, and she having had the liferent of this place, James Sutherland was after his marriage designed "of Ausdale". By this marriage he does not seem to have had any issue.
His second wife was Anne, daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster, and widow of Francis Sinclair of Stirkoke. By her he had a daughter: -
He married, lastly, Anne, daughter of Robert Sinclair of Durran, and had by her two daughters: -
James Sutherland died in 1708, and was succeeded in Langwell by his daughter, Esther; and in Risgill by her sister Anne.
III. ESTHER SUTHERLAND OF LANGWELL was twice married. (Contract of Marriage, 1696). Her first husband was Budge of Toftingall, by whom she had a son, James. She married thereafter, in 1708, (1696 on page 157) Robert Sutherland of Achastle, immediate younger brother of George, twelfth laird of Forse; and he was after his marriage styled "of Achinarras", [parish of Halkirk], in which lands his wife was liferented as the widow of William Budge. She had two sons and two daughters: -
V. ROBERT SUTHERLAND, LAST OF LANGWELL, married, in 1762, his cousin, Anne Sinclair, heiress of Brabster. For the issue of this marriage vide Brabster.
In 1775 Langwell was sold to William Gray, Iter Boreale, Jamaica, Provost-Marshal of that Island.
It is believed that Robert Sutherland had a brother who resided in Brechin, but his name and history are not known.
In the following description of this last laird of Langwell, written in 1769, will be recognised the hand of the late William Sinclair of Freswick: -
"Langwell was in town at our market, or, as he designs himself, Captain Robert Sutherland of Langwell and Brabster, Esq. His inconsistencies you have heard on several occasions long ere now: I shall therefore give you an account of his procession at Freswick's burial. First comes himsell, mounted on a gray nag so and so shaped, low-sized crape hat-band, and a streamer from each cock of the back part, red coat and vest, white breeches, mounted with black, lappels and cuffs to the coat of that color; on the right and left about a yard behind him, and as much to the right and left of the line in which he rode, two gilly-weet-feet, each with a leashed grayhound; then followed three old-looking footmen in abrest of the line in which the first three stood. Captain John Sinclair told me that he saw him at Wick, his machine drawn by four horses of different sizes and colors, each of his postillions in long black cloaks, hats with cockades to 'em, hunters' whips, a sword on one side and a pistol on the other ; furnish me with such an equipage galloping thro' a street. I had forgot to say, in his procession at the burial, in a cold rainy day, he had his horse covered with a net made of white, red, and green silk".