Dunrobin Castle is the factual and spiritual home of Clan Sutherland. Seat of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland. The motto of Clan Sutherland is Sans Peur, French for Without Fear. It appears on both the Countess's Coat of Arms and the Clan Crest.
The Sutherland surname originates from 'South Land,' discovered and colonised by Norse invaders from Scandinavia and Orkney. Many of today's inhabitants of Sutherland are said to directly descend from the Celtic tribes who retreated from these Vikings, and the Chiefs of Clan Sutherland are descended from Hugh, grandson of Freskin de Moravia, a knight of Flemish origin, who was given the lands of Sutherland by William the Lion in 1197. Hugh was also the ancestor of Clan Murray. At that time, Sutherland territory extended south into Nairn and Moray, and north, covering the whole of Caithness.
Other interesting points, and viewpoints:-
- Helmsdale Castle, Sutherland. Scene of the murder of the 11th Earl and Countess of Sutherland in 1567.
- Dornoch Cathedral, Sutherland. A major restoration was sponsored by the Duchess of Sutherland between 1835 and 1837.
- Ben Bhraggie, Golspie, Sutherland. A statue of George Granville Leveson-Gower, Marquess of Stafford, the 1st Duke of Sutherland, who died in 1833 towers over the landscape. A liberal reformer who married to the Countess of Sutherland, who was responsible for the Sutherland Clearances.
- Carbisdale Castle, Ardgay, Wester Ross. Built by an estranged Duchess of Sutherland in the 19th century.
- Clan Gunn is another Scottish clan associated with north eastern Scotland, including Caithness and Sutherland, as well as the Orkney Islands.