In common with other Highland parishes, the history began in the Mesolithic of the Stone Age after the recession of the ice sheet which covered the country during the last ice age (for a concise overview of archaeological periods in the Highlands see the Am Baile website). There is no evidence yet discovered of these early nomads in Clyne, unlike neighbouring areas.
Evidence for Neolithic settlers, dating to around 5000 years ago is sparse, but a good example of one of their burial chambered cairns is found on the shore of Loch Brora.
In contrast, Bronze and Iron Age people have left their marks all over the parish. Their characteristic roundhouses (hut circles) are dotted around the landscape and many more remain to be discovered. These early farmers have also left their mark on the hillsides, close to their roundhouses, in the form of cairns of stones which they have cleared from their agricultural grounds.
There are 7 brochs in the parish dating from around 600BC to 100AD, which are uniquely found in the Highlands and Islands, but are concentrated in Caithness and East Sutherland. These familiar stone-built towers are somewhat enigmatic structures, as experts are still undecided as to their purpose – defensive or pure status!
There are few remains about the little known intervening years to the Post-Medieval/Pre-Clearance settlements, which are also found scattered about the landscape. There are over 100 of these ‘townships’ which litter the now barren and uninhabited areas of the parish – a direct result of the notorious Highland Clearances, which began in Clyne in around 1809.