Copyright Calum Davidson 2004
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Watch Hill
"a femicircular chain of mountains paffes nearly through the middle of the parifh, the principal of which are Knok-Rheacadan (the Watchman's Hill), Ben Loaghal and Ben Hope"

Old statistical account of the Parish of Tongue 1799

At 1008 feet, Cnoc an Fhreiceadain (Hill of Watching) is modest in height, but both commands the township of Coldbackie and provides dramatic views across to Kyle of Tongue, to Orkney in the east, and Arkle in the West.
The Watch hill is Old Red Sandstone Conglomerate, and is around 400 Million Years old, dating from the middle of the Paleozoic era. The rocks are fairly loose and friable, and not particularly suitable for climbing, although some of the chimneys have been ascended.
Travelling from the east along the coast, Cnoc an Fhreiceadain is the first hill of any significance that the traveler meets in Sutherland. It certainly made an impression on the Rev Charles Cordiner who passed through Coldbackie in June 1776.

Click here for stills from BBC's Top Gear driving a Land Rover Discovery up the Watch Hill.
He describes Strath Tounge as a "narrow deep and gloomy valley." His pen picture of the Watch Hill continues. "The mountainous ridge by which it is bounded on the west, terminated perpendicularly in precipices of enormous height."..."other immense masses, seemingly loose, hanging on high, and threatening to tumble, every moment, down, made the passage round it hideous."
Antiquities & Scenery of the North of Scotland - Rev Charles Cordiner - London 1780
A scan of Cordiners account - click here

Watch hill view - North and East
Watch hill view - west
Watch Hill view - South