What to "See and Do"
in the Dingwall Area

Leisure Centre Puffin Pool History Churches
Dingwall Canal Sir Hector MacDonald The Ferry Point MS Society

Unofficial Ross County 
Football Sites

The Jail Ender

Lorsports Home Page

Castle Doocot Dingwall Museum Walks
Archaeology of the Area Dingwall Medical Group Shopmobility

A Ross and Cromarty
Heritage Society Project

Clan Mackenzie Information

The Highland
Traditional Music Festival

The Puffin Pool

The pool is a hydrotherapy pool based on Ferry Road in Dingwall.  It offers hydrotherapy (a kind of physiotherapy), to the disabled, handicapped or injured people of the community.  It is suitable for groups from other areas to use as well, and details of booking the pool can be found below.

The warm pool offers a chance to exercise and improve quality of life for people suffering from arthritis, backache or illnesses like stroke, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy.

Hydrotherapy is a kind of exercise which is carried out in a specially heated pool.  As water is buoyant it makes it much easier for stroke victims, etc., to carry out exercises and the extra heat helps to relax the body's muscles and ligaments, which in turn allows pain relieving exercises to be carried out.  All sessions have a supervisor/lifeguard on hand.  

If you would like to use the pool as an individual, you will first attend one of the regular Physio Assessment sessions where you will be advised on the exercises which should suit you.  After your Physio session you will be able to attend a weekly session with other individual users.  You may want to have a helper with you.

Sessions usually last about an hour and are fun as well as being good for you!  We have a lot of groups that attend for weekly courses.

The Puffin Hydrotherapy pool has been built by a registered charity for the people of the Highlands and Islands.  If you are disabled, handicapped, injured or just interested in keeping fit, hydrotherapy might be helpful for you.

Sir Hector MacDonald was a fine soldier who rose from the rank of private to become commanding officer of a Highland Brigade in the time of Queen Victoria.  An almost impossible feat when the only entry into the Commissioned Corps was by the right of birth, wealth and by the proper connections.

Hector MacDonald was the son of a crofter (small farmer) on the Black Isle, across the Firth from the monument.  He enlisted into the 92nd Gordon Highlander on the 11th of June 1870, having previously served with the local volunteers.

On enlisting into the regular army, Hector MacDonald took his soldiering very seriously from the outset.  This dedication and his application to his Army career ensured his rapid promotion through the ranks to become a high ranking officer.  During his service in the Queen's Colours, he served in countries such as India, Afghanistan, South Africa, Ceylon and the Egyptian Sudan.

Due to grave charges brought against him by high ranking officials he took his own life while staying in a Paris hotel.  These charges were never substantiated.

MacDonald was subsequently interred in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.  An obelisk memorial with bronze bust was erected over his grave in 1905.  Sir Hector is also remembered by a slender telescope-like tower memorial at Mulbuie, near his birthplace.

But the most significant monument to MacDonald is the National Memorial in Dingwall.  This was constructed between 1904 and 1907 (architect James Sandford Kay), its hundred foot high tower dominating the hillside above the town.  Its main features are the slender whinstone tower projecting from the rubbly sandstone base and the balustered parapet around the corbelled top platform.  This in turn is surmounted by a castellated cap-house.

Panoramic views may be obtained from the top of the monument on a clear day, giving a true impression of the northern Highlands, as well as the ancient burgh of Dingwall in the hollow below.  Settlement was confined to the south side of the River Peffery when the monument was erected.  Development did not extend north of the Peffery until after the War.  During this period, the population rose from about 2800 to the present 5500.

Information courtesy of Craig Mackay