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A little about the cottage…


Berriscue House was originally built in 1861 as the traditional Caithness stone cottage you see today in the heart of Thurso. In its life it has been loved by many inhabitants and has a deep and interesting history.

One of those who lived there was Captain Donald PATERSON who was born in 1844. The vessels he commanded were the schooners "Ocean Star" and "Guiding Star", and his last vessel before retiring was the barque "George Walker". Captain PATERSON followed the seafaring life for a period of 23 years, 15 of which he served as shipmaster. He was engaged in both the home and foreign trade. He was well known at the different ports of call and was held in much respect by seafaring men.

It is worthy of very special mention that while serving in the merchant service, he was instrumental in saving the lives of the Captain and crew of the German steamship "Unanimity" in mid ocean at great risk. In recognition of this gallant and praiseworthy deed, Captain PATERSON was presented with a gold watch and telescope, with suitable inscription, by the German Emperor (King of Prussia). Needless to say, these gifts were the most cherished of the gallant Captain's possessions.

As we skip from the late 1800’s to the present day, the previous owner, who later became a very good friend, was the incredibly talented Northumbrian Artist Colin Rule. Colin was a stunning painter that captured countless wonders and loved his time living in the cottage. Colin's works have been sold across the globe and can still be found online today.


After spending some time in the cottage visiting Colin, I fell in love with it. When it became time for Colin to move on and sell it, I had to purchase it. It was in need of some restoration and some finishing touches and I’ve gradually been working on the house for a number of years now. The most recent work being completed at the end of last year in the form of the new heating system and bathroom.


I also make as much of the furniture as I can myself. I have a passion for wood and metal working and to date, I have made the bed in the main bedroom, the bedroom shelf under the mirror, the barrel hoop mirror, the barrel chair and the side table in the living room. I have plans for a new dining table and a few other pieces I hope to design and make for the cottage as soon as I have time.


I hope you have an absolutely wonderful stay in Berriscue House and if there is anything I can help with or even anything you particularly loved that you’d like to mention, then I always enjoy hearing from our lovely guests:


Enjoy Thurso!



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