National Geographic : 1956 Jul
End of the Road: After John o' Groat's, Scotland's Mainland Drops into the Sea The story of John o' Groat, the man, is encrusted with legend. Many believe that he was a Dutchman named John de Groot to whom James IV awarded the privilege of run ning a ferry across Pentland Firth. One tale gives him the nickname "o' Groat" because he charged a groat for passage.e The truth lies in a charter, dated 1496, in which the Earl of Caithness granted ferry rights to one John Groat, probably a Scot. Here Mrs. Allister Macken zie, wife of the John o' Groat's hotelkeeper, coaxes her pet Scottish terrier to stand up for Una Manson. Post office sign shows a variant punctua tion of the name. + The fact of the ferryman's descendants is real enough. These two, William Nicolson and his sister, take tea at their farm home near Keiss. Shortbread, queen cakes, oat cakes, pancakes, scones, and jam load the table. The couple's father, a noted antiquarian, collected Norse relics which are displayed in the house. t National Geographic Photographer B. Anthony Stewart 48 ... ... a3. .. .... . sy '