A mound near the John O'Groats House Hotel marks the site where Jan
de Groot, a Dutchman, built his famous house in the reign of James IV
(1488 - 1513). His seven descendants quarrelled about precedence and Jan
de Groot solved this problem by building an octagonal house with eight
doors, one for each of his seven sons and himself, and an eight sided
table so that no one occupied the head of the table. Jan de Groot ran a
ferry to Orkney and charged 2p a trip. The coin for this denomination
became known as the 'groat'. Jan de Groot is buried in Canisbay
churchyard where his tombstone can be seen, now moved to inside the
entrance porch for protection against the weather. Over a period of time
the name Jan de Groot has subsequently changed to John O'Groats.
The Tombstone of Jan de Groot which used to stand outside is now
to be seen inside.
RIGHT BOTTOM: Canisbay Church.