Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Inverness-shire

Inverness-shire, a great Highland county, extending across Scotland from the E coast along the upper reaches of the Moray Firth to the Atlantic on the W coast beyond the Outer Hebrides. It used formerly to consist of three detached portions, one of which was dovetailed in between two portions of the upper district of Elginshire; but in 1870, by ' The Inverness and Elgin County Boundaries Act,' a part of the united parishes of Cromdale and Inverallan, including the village of Grantown, was transferred from Inverness to Elgin, and portions of the parishes of Abernethy and Duthil from Elgin to Inverness. The population of the former district was (1861) 3377, and of the latter in the same year 2750, so that Inverness lost slightly as regards population. The other detached piece is a small portion, measuring about 1 by ½ mile, included in Nairnshire, in Strathnairn, about ½ mile E of Culloden Muir. Five and a half miles E of Foyers, on Loch Ness, Inverness includes a detached portion of Nairnshire, measuring 7 ½ miles long by 5 wide at the widest part. The county is bounded on the N by Ross-shire and the Moray Firth, on the E by Nairnshire, Elginshire, Banffshire, and Aberdeenshire, on the S by Perthshire and Argyllshire, and along the W by the Atlantic Ocean. The shape is very irregular. The compact mainland portion of the county may be said to extend from Ben Attow on the W to the Cairngorm Mountains on the E, a distance as the crow flies of 69 miles : and from Beauly on the N to the river Leven on the S, a distance of 57 ½ miles. From this, between Loch Loyne and Glen Loy, a prolongation passes westward, widening as it goes till it embraces the whole chain of the Outer Hebrides except Lewis, and looking on the map like the shattered remains of some fucoid of highly irregular shape. From the W coast of South Uist to Loch Loyne, measuring in a straight line, is a distance of 92 miles; and along the line of the Outer Hebrides, from Harris to Barra Head, the distance is 91 miles. Inverness is the largest county in Scotland, the total area being 4231.62 square miles or 2,708,237 acres, including 91,775 acres of foreshore and water. Of this enormous total, however, only 129,810 were in 1882 under crop, bare fallow, and grass, and 162,201 under planted wood; all the rest being natural wood, rough hill grazing, heath, peat, or stony waste. And it is not therefore to be wondered at that the county should be on the average the second least densely populated in the country, there being 22 persons to the square mile, while Sutherland has only 12. There are 46 inhabited islands in the county, with a population of 35,523. Of the total area 747,739 acres belong to the island, and the rest to the mainland, portion of the county.

Starting at the extreme NW corner at the head of Loch Resort in Lewis, the boundary line curves across Lewis and Harris to the centre of Loch Seaforth, and then, striking south-eastward across the Minch, takes in the whole of Skye, and passes up the Inner Sound between Raasay and the mainland, between Longa and Croulin Mhor, through Kyle-Akin, along Loch Alsh, and half-way up Kyle Rhea. There it quits the sea, and strikes E by S along the watershed, between Loch Duich and Glen Shiel on the N in Ross-shire, and Loch Hourn and Glen Quoich to the S in Inverness-shire, for a distance of about 22 miles at an average height of about 3000 feet above sea-level, to the eastern shoulder of Aonachair Chrith (3342 feet), where it turns abruptly S for a mile to the river Loyne, the course of which it follows through the centre of upper Loch Loyne to lower Loch Loyne (700). About ½ mile from the upper end of Loch Loyne the line turns for 3 miles to the NW, and then N across Loch Clunie (606 feet), and in an irregular line up to the high ground, where it again takes an irregular line south-westward, following the watershed by Sgurr nan Conbhairean (3632), Garbh Leac (3673), Ciste Dhnbh (3218), Carn Fnaralach (3241), and Sgnrr a' Bhealaich Dheirg (3378), all at the upper ends of Glen Moriston and Glen Affrick, and so to Ben Attow (3383). Here it turns to the north-eastward by Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan (3771 feet) and Mam Soul (3877), beyond which it quits the watershed, and, crossing a stream flowing into Loch Moyley, passes on to Loch Monar about a mile from the W end of the loch. From this it takes an irregular line eastward along the high ground between Strathfarrer and Glen Orrin till it reaches the Highland railway midway between Beauly and Muir of Ord stations. From this it sends a pointed projection northward to Muir of Ord station, where it crosses the railway and curves back to the estuary of the river Beauly, 2 miles below the town. The boundary is then the Beauly Firth, the Firth of Inverness, and the Moray Firth, to Delnies, 4 miles E of Fort George. Here it strikes southward in an excessively irregular line to Culloden Muir, and then irregularly by artificial lines south-eastward to the river Dulnain at Muckrach; passes along the Dulnain to the Spey, down the latter river for about 8 miles, and then SE to Allt Mor Burn, up which it keeps to the source; and then strikes across to the Water of Ailnack about 3½ miles from its mouth. It proceeds up this burn to a height of 2059 feet, and then strikes SW by Caiplich (3574), and along the whole watershed of the Cairngorms, the principal summits being Cairngorm (4084) and Braeriach (4248). About midway between Cairngorm and Braeriach the boundaries of Banff, Inverness, and Aberdeen all meet. About a mile beyond Braeriach, and just above the main source of the Dee, the line takes a southerly direction to Cairn Ealar (3276 feet), where the boundaries of Aberdeen, Inverness, and Perth meet, following all the way the watershed between the burns that flow down into the Dee, and those that pass by Glen Feshie to the Spey. From the mountain just named the line takes a very irregular westerly direction along the watershed between the burns on the S in Perthshire flowing by Glen Tilt and Glen Garry to the Tay, and those flowing to the N by Glen Tromie and Glen Truim to the Spey, until it reaches Loch Ericht (1153 feet), near the centre of the SE bank. The principal summits along this line are Cran na Caim (3087 feet), the Boar of Badenoch (2432), the Athole Sow (3175), and Beinn Udlaman (3306). After turning southward along the centre of Loch Ericht for 4¾ miles, it passes up the burn of Uisge Aulder to the top of Beinn Chumhann (2962 feet), and then along the watershed between the burns that flow to Loch Rannoch and those that flow to Loch Treig (784), until it reaches the E end of the basin of the Leven. The highest summits here are Sgor Gaibhre (3128 feet) and Carn Dearg (3084). From the top of the basin of the Leven the line keeps westward along the valley and down the course of the river to Loch Leven, and then NE along lower Loch Eil, and along the course of the river Lochy to a point midway between Loch Eil and Loch Lochy, ½ mile S of the Glen Loy Burn. Here, striking in an irregular westerly line, it crosses from side to side of Glen Loy, until near the source of the Glen Mallie Burn it again takes to the watershed, which it follows till it descends to the river Callop, ¾ mile above Loch Shiel. The highest summits are Stob a' Ghrianain (2420 feet) Coille Mhor (2071), Meall a' Phubuill (2535), Gulvain (North, 3224; South, 3148), Streap (2988), and Beinn nan Tom (2603). Passing down Loch Shiel, the line includes the island of Eigg, but excludes Muck, Rum, and Canna, and then takes in the whole of the Outer Hebrides (including St Kilda), all the way N till it reaches Loch Resort once more. The island districts are treated under the articles Hebrides and Skye, and what follows is chiefly confined to the mainland part of the county.

Districts and Surface.—There are throughout the county a large number of districts with separate names. The Great Glen of Alban, passing in a NE and SW direction from the Moray Firth at Inverness, by the river Ness, Loch Ness, the river Oich, Loch Oich (105 feet), Loch Lochy (93), and the river Lochy to Loch Eil, forms a great natural division between the eastern and western divisions of the county. Taking the region to the W of this, and starting from the N, there are the three parallel Glens of Strathfarrer, Cannich, and Strathaffric, which, uniting and widening at the lower end, give place to Strath Glass along the upper waters of the river Beauly. The district occupying the high ground between the river Beauly and the river Ness is known as The Aird, beyond which, along towards the lower part of Glen Urquhart, is Caiplich. To the E of Strathaffric is Glen Urquhart, which opens at its lower end on the Great Glen about 7 miles from the NE end, and farther S is the larger and more important Glen Moriston, opening on Loch Ness about 5 ½ miles from its SW end. Farther S still, and passing due westward from Loch Oich, is the long narrow Glen Garry, to the S of which, and parallel with it, is the hollow occupied by Loch Arkaig, at the commencement of the Locheil country. This hollow is continued westward by the smaller Glen Pean and Glen Dessary. To the W, along the Sound of Sleat are :-Glenelg, between Glenelg Bay and Loch Hourn; Knoydart, between Loch Hourn and Loch Nevis; Morar, between Loch Nevis and Loch Morar; Arasaig, between Loch Morar and Loch Ailort; and Moidart, between Loch Ailort and Loch Shiel. The whole of this region forms the wildest and roughest part of Inverness-shire.

While the valleys and ridges to the W of the Great Glen have an E and W direction, those to the E of that line mostly run from NE to SW. Extending along the eastern shore of Loch Ness is the district known as Strath Errick-a tableland about 400 feet above sea-level. At the SW end of Loch Ness is Glen Tarff; while at the NE end, along Dochfour, is Strath Dores. Across the high ground E of this is Strathnairn, along the upper waters of the river of the same name. This is followed by Strathdearn along the upper waters of the Findhorn, and this, again, by the upper portion of Strathspey, while to the E of the Spey, on the borders of the county, beyond the Braes of Abernethy, is the wild district along the western side of the Cairngorms. Along the north-eastern border of the county, between the Nairn and the Findhorn, is Moy. Above Kingussie the valley of the upper Spey runs more nearly from W to E, and from it the smaller glens of Markie (N) and Mashie (S) branch. The high ground W of Glen Mashie between that and the Pattack, which flows into Loch Laggan, is the watershed between the Atlantic and the German Ocean. To the S of the Spey, and including Glen Spean, Glen Roy, Glen Treig, Glen Nevis, and some smaller glens, is the great district of Lochaber. To the SE of the Spey, and extending from the Braes of Abernethy on the N to the head of Glen Spean, and lying along the borders of the counties of Perth and Aberdeen, is the other great district-Badenoch-which includes the Glens of Feshie, Tromie, Truim, and Calder, as well as most of the basin of Loch Laggan and the north-eastern part of the basin of Loch Ericht.

Inverness is the most mountainous county in Scotland, and has the most rugged and uneven surface. In the immediate neighbourhood of the town of Inverness and along the shore of the Beauly Firth there is a flat strip of no great extent, and from this there rises a series of uplands which pass into lofty hills in all directions in the interior and on the borders of the county, till finally, near the south-western extremity of the county at Ben Nevis (4406 feet), the highest point of Great Britain is reached. The range of heights to the N of Strathfarrer attains a height of from 1500 to 1800 feet, and the same height is reached between Strathfarrer and Glen Cannich. Those between Glen Cannich and Strathaffric rise to the westward to a still greater height until they terminate at Mam Soul and the lofty summits about Ben Attow. From Ben Dubh or Ciste Dubh (already mentioned), a line of heights runs eastward to the shore of Loch Ness between Strathaffric and Glen Urquhart on the N, and Glen Moriston on the S, and reach an average height of over 2000 feet, the principal summits from W to E being Sgurr nan Ceathramhan (3614 feet), Tigh Mor (3222), Aonach Shasuinn (2901), Carn a Choire Chruaidh (2830), Carn a Choire Leith (2118), and Mealfourvonie (3060) close to Loch Ness. Between Glen Moriston and Glen Garry the heights are about 2000 feet, but along the boundary line W of the source of the river Loyne they rise to over 3000, the principal being Aonachair Chrith (3342), Sgurr an Lochain (3282), Creag nan Damh (3012), and The Saddle (3317). Between Glen Garry and Loch Arkaig the majority of the heights are over 2000 feet, and a few approach or are over 3000. The principal summits are Sgor Choinich (2450 feet), Geal Charn (2636), Meall Coire nan Saobhaidh (2695), Beinn Tee (2956), Sron a Coire Ghairbh (3066), Meall Coire Lochain (2971), and Glas Bheinn (2398). To the S of Loch Arkaig are the heights on the boundary between the Lochy and Loch Shiel already mentioned, and on the E above the Lochy the great mass of Beinn Bhan with a double summit (West, 2522; East, 2613). The district to the W of this, intersected by the sea-lochs on the Sound of Sleat between Glenelg and Moidart, is very rugged, a considerable number of the hills approaching 3000 feet, and at Gleourach (3395), Sgurr a' Mhoraire (3365), Scour Gairoch (3015), Sgor Mhor (3290), Sgor na Ciche (3410), Sgor nan Coireachan (3125), * Sgor Choileam (3164), and elsewhere surpassing that height. Near the south-western extremity of the county is Ben Nevis (4406 feet), with the shoulders known as Carn Dearg, one (3961) to the NW of the summit, and the other (3348) to the SW, while beyond the hollow occupied by the tarn is Meall an t'Suidhe (2322). To the S beyond Glen Nevis a rough sea of hills passes away to the boundary, the principal being Mullach nan Coirean (3077 feet), Stob Ban (3274), Sgor a' Mhaim (3601), Am Bodach (3382), Binnein Mor (3700), and Binnein Beag (3083) on the S side of Glen Nevis; while E of this are Glas Bheinn (2587), Beinn Bhreac (2863), and Leim Uilleim (2971). To the N of Ben Nevis the ground falls at first rapidly, and then more slowly towards Glen Spean, while to the eastward and north-eastward the long line of the Grampians begins with Aonach Mor (3999 feet), and Aonach Beag (4060), which are mere offshoots from the great Ben, the ground between sinking only to 2915 feet. Continuing north-eastward the principal summits of those that rise to a height of over 3000 feet are Stob Coire an Easain (3545), Stob Ban (3217), and a nameless summit to the W (3750); Stob Choire an Easain Mhor (3658), immediately to the W of Loch Treig; Cnoc Dearg (3433), E of Loch Treig; Beinn na Lap (3066), NW of Loch Ossian; Beinn Eibhinn (3611), Aonach Bea (3646), Beinn a' Chlachair (3569), Creag Peathraich (3031), and Mullah Coire an Iubhair (3443), all in a line to the NE of Loch Ossian; one of the many Carn Deargs (3391) and the huge mass of Ben Alder (3757), with the lower top of Beinn Bheoil (3333), to the NW of Loch Ericht; Gealcharn (3005), E of Loch Ericht; Stac Meall na Cuaich (3000), between the upper parts of Glen Truim and Glen Tromie; and Meall Tionail (3338), Meal Dubh-achadh (3268), Carn Ban (3443), and Sgor an Dubh (3658), all to the E of the upper part of Glen Feshie. To the E of these is Monadh Mor (3651 feet) on the border of the county as the Grampians pass away into Aberdeenshire. To the NE are the Cairngorms, the principal summits of which have been already given as occurring on the borders of the county. In the part of Lochaber to the NE of Ben Nevis beyond Glen Spean, and between Glen Roy and Loch Laggan, and extending N to the Spey, are a large number of hills from 2000 to 3700 feet high, the chief being Beinn a' Mheirlich (2994), the double-topped Beinn a' Chaoruinn (South, 3437; North, 3422), An Cearcallach (3250), Creag Meaghaidh (3700), and Carn Liath (3298). To the W of this the ground rises rapidly from the Spean, and a ridge runs north-eastward between Glen Gloy and Glen Roy parallel to Loch Lochy, the hills gradually rising in height till at Corryarrick a height of 2922 feet is reached between Loch Spey and the head of Glen Tarff. From this the chain of heights known as the Monadhliath Mountains stretch first E along the N side of the upper course of the Spey and then NE between the Spey and the Findhorn, till within about 5 miles of the boundary between Inverness-shire and Elginshire. The principal summits are Garbh Bheinn (2920 feet), Geal Charn (3036) close to Glen Markie, Carn Mairg (3087), A' Chailleach (3045), Carn Sgulain (3015), and another of the same name farther to the NE (2606). At the higher Carn Sgulain the range is split by the river Dulnan, down the sides of which the heights pass at an average elevation of about 2500 feet. A branch of the Monadhliath Mountains also passes NE between the upper waters of the Nairn and Findhorn, the chief summits being Carn a' Choire Ghlaise (2555 feet), Doire Meurach (2582), Carn na Saobhaidhe (2657), Carn Odhar (2618), Beinn Bhuidhe (2329), and Beinn Bhreac Mhor (2641). The district between Mam Soul and Moidart along the watershed between the E and W coasts is the wildest and roughest part of the whole shire, and has in consequence got the name of the ` rough bounds.' From many parts of it good views may be obtained of the surrounding districts, and particularly at the head of Glen Pean westward from Loch Arkaig. Here Glen Dessary is seen to the N, Loch Morar lies below, and away beyond is a wide expanse of sea sprinkled with islands-Skye on the right; with Rum, Eigg, and Canna, and the Outer Hebrides like a cloud on the distant horizon.

Rivers and Lochs.—There are a considerable number of rivers throughout the county, and the small streams are simply innumerable. In the NW Glen Cannich is drained by the Cannich and Strathaffric, in the upper part by Grivie Water, and then by the river Glass. These unite near the upper end of Strathglass, and at Erchless Castle are joined by the Farrer from Strathfarrer, and thereafter the river thus formed flows eastward and enters the sea at the W end of the Beauly Firth. From the Aird the burns of Moniack and Bunchrew flow N to the Beauly Firth; while the drainage of the whole of the Great Glen NE of Loch Oich is carried off by the river Ness, which enters the sea at the town of Inverness. The only streams of any size that it receives are the burn of Leys and the Allt Mor or Big Burn, which flows from Loch Ashie. The drainage of the south-western part of the Great Glen is carried off by the river Lochy, which enters the sea at Loch Eil. Passing first along the W side, Glen Urquhart is drained by the Enrick, and the Coiltie and Glen Moriston by the river Moriston, which in its upper portion receives the Doe (N) and the Loyne (S). These flow into Loch Ness; and along the banks of the loch there are also a number of smaller burns, the principal being the burn of Abriachan, N of Glen Urquhart. On a small stream flowing into the Coiltie are the picturesque falls of Divach. Loch Oich and Loch Ness are connected by the river Oich. Glen Garry is drained by the river Garry, which flows into Loch Oich, and receives an immense number of tributaries, the principal being the Kingie (S). Loch Lochy receives, all along, a number of small burns; while near the SW corner it is entered by the Arkaig from Loch Arkaig, carrying off the drainage of the whole district lying in the- hollow eastward of Glen Dessary and Glen Pean. The river Lochy receives the fair-sized stream that issues from Glen Loy close to the county boundary. In the district between Glenelg and Moidart there are numerous streams falling into the various sea-lochs. On the E side of the Great Glen the north-eastern part of Strath Errick is drained by the Foyers and the streams E and Fechlin which flow into it. The region between Corryarrick and the SW end of Loch Ness has its drainage carried off by the Doe and Tarff, of which the former enters the loch about a mile from, and the latter at the SW end, close to Fort Augustus. The country immediately E of Loch Oich is drained mainly by Calder Burn, which enters the loch at the NE end; while the district immediately E of Loch Lochy is drained mainly by the stream that issues from Glen Gloy, and enters the loch 2½ miles from its SW end. Almost immediately after leaving the loch, the Lochy receives the large tributary of the Spean, which carries off the drainage of almost the whole of Lochaber. Its principal tributaries are the Roy, from Glen Roy on the N; the Treig, from Loch Treig; the Gulbin, from Loch Ossian; and the Pattack, which flows into Loch Laggan. Round Glen Gloy, Glen Roy, and Glen Spean are the fine terraces marking old lake margins, and so well known under the name of ` parallel roads.' The drainage of the NE flanks of Ben Nevis also passes to the Spean; but that of the N and NW is carried off by the river Lundy, which enters the Lochy about 2 miles from the mouth; while that to the S and SW is carried off by the Nevis, which enters Loch Eil at Fort William. From Mamore comes the Water of Kiachnish, which enters Loch Eil farther S. Besides all these, a large number of burns flow directly into the various lochs, but they are all of small size.

Excepting the basin of Loch Ericht-the rainfall of which passes off to the Tummel-and the burns that flow into Loch Laggan, the whole of Badenoch is drained by the Spey and its tributaries, as are also the S and SE sides of the Monadhliath Mountains, the Grampians from Loch Ericht to the borders of Aberdeenshire, and the NW side of the Cairngorms. The principal tributaries from the N and NE are Markie Burn, the river Calder, and the river Dulnan, the latter being so large as to have a sort of subsidiary basin midway between the Spey and the Findhorn, and about 20 miles long. The tributaries on the S and SW are Mashie Water, the rivers Truim, Tromie, Feshie, Druie, and Nethy. The drainage of the remaining part of the county between the Monadhliath Mountains and Strath Errick is by means of the rivers Nairn and Findhorn and their tributaries, the chief of those joining the former river being Allt Beag and the Craggie Burn, both from the SE; while joining the latter river are the Kyllachie Burn and the Moy or Funtack Burn, both from the W.

There are within the county, speaking only of the mainland part, ninety lochs of fair size, besides a very large number of lochans. The principal lochs only can here be mentioned, and these are taken in connection with the districts in which they lie. The figures give the heights above sea-level, and for other information reference may be made to the separate articles dealing with them. In Strathfarrer, Loch a' Mhuilinn (418 feet) and Loch Bunacharan (367); in Glen Cannich, Loch Mullardoch (705); in Strathaffric, Loch Beneveian (720) and Loch Affrick (744); in Glen Urquhart, Loch Meiklie (372) on the Enrick, and Loch Aslaich (1310) on the Coiltie; in Glen Moriston, the lower half of Loch Clunie (606); along Glen Garry, Loch Lundie (445), Loch Garry (258), Loch Poulary (310), Loch Quoich (555), and Lochan nam Breac (574). Loch Quoich receives the river Quoich, and Loch Garry also receives some fair-sized streams. In the Arkaig valley is Loch Arkaig (140 feet); in the Great Glen, Loch Lochy (93), Loch Oich (105), Loch Ness (50), and Loch Dochfour (50); in Strathdores, Loch Ashie (7l6); in Stratherrick, Loch Duntelchak (702), Loch Ruthven (700), Loch Farraline (650), Loch Garth (618), Loch Killin (1057), Loch Kemp (545), Loch Knockie (690), and Loch Tarff (956)-the latter not, however, in Glen Tarff, but to the N of it. Between the Nairn and Findhorn, 3½ miles SW of the boundary with Nairnshire, is Loch Moy, draining into the Findhorn. On the Spey are Loch Inch (721 feet) and Loch Spey (1142); while in the basin drained by this river and by its tributaries are Loch Garten (726), Loch Phitiulais (674), Loch Morlich (1046), Loch Alvie (685), Loch an Eilein (840), Loch Eunach (1700), Loch an t'Seilich (1400), Loch Bhradain (1460), half of Lochan Duin (1680), the rest being in Perthshire, Loch na Cuaich (1298), Loch Coultrie (1150), Loch Crunachan (890), and Loch Dubh (2200). On the SE border of the county is part of Loch Ericht (1153 feet); in the valley drained by the Spean, Loch Laggan (819), Lochan na h-Earba (1140), Loch a' Bhealaich Shleamhuinn (2116), Loch Pattack (1430), Loch a' Bhealaich Bheithe, between Ben Alder and Ben Bheoil (2347), Loch Gulbin (1150), Loch Ossian (1269), and Loch Treig (784); on Ben Nevis, Lochan Meall an t'Suidhe (1820); to the S of Glen Nevis, Lochan Lunn Da Bhra (511), Loch Eilde Beag (1180), and Loch Eilde Mor (1120). The whole of the principal rivers and lakes abound with fish of various kinds, and furnish capital sport.

As might be expected, the scenery in such a county is very varied. The greater part of the county shows little but a sea of hills, with bare brown undulating expanses of moor between, and intersected by hollows occupied by streams or lochs, the whole being in most places very dull and dismal except when the heather is in bloom. Many of the hollows are, however, well wooded, and have fertile haughs along the banks of the rivers. This is particularly the case along the line of the Great Glen, in Glen Moriston, in Glen Urquhart, in Strath Glass, in Moy, along part of Strathdearn, and particularly in the valley of the Spey below its junction with Glen Truim. There is also a good wooded district about Loch Arkaig, on the opposite side of the county at the Aird, and eastward of Inverness by Culloden towards Croy in Nairnshire; while the flat country along the margin of the Beauly Firth is well wooded and fertile. Details of the glens, lochs, and rivers will be found under the separate headings, as well as accounts of the fine scenery at the falls of Divach, Foyers, Kilmorack, and elsewhere.

Geology.—The geological history of the mainland portion of Inverness-shire is widely different from that of Skye and Raasay. These islands contain a grand development of Tertiary volcanic rocks resting unconformably on various members of the Secondary formations, to the description of which a separate article will be devoted. The mainland portion of the county is composed of metamorphic rocks, on which representatives of the Old Red Sandstone rest unconformably. lndeed, if we except a strip of ground stretching along the banks of Loch Ness from Inverness, and a limited tract in the Beauly basin, the remainder of the area is occupied by stratified crystalline rocks and the granite. masses associated with them. According to the generally-accepted theory, these metamorphic rocks are regarded as altered sedimentary deposits of Silurian age. No detailed investigations have as yet been made with the view of determining the order of succession of the strata between Glenelg and the crest of the Grampians. and hence at present only a general outline can be given of the types of strata represented in the area, and some of the larger folds. In the W part of the county, along the shores of Loch Hourn, and on the serrated peaks that overlook the fiord, the beds consist of finely-stratified micaceous and quartzose flagstones, which are inclined to the SE at comparatively low angles. In these beds are found bands of gneiss and micaceous quartzose grits, but the flagstones form the dominant members of the series. This succession continues, with the same SE inclination, as far as Loch Quoich, where a great synclinal fold occurs, and the same beds reappear, with a NW inclination, for several miles. Beyond this point, as we descend Glen Garry, the strata are repeated by a series of undulations, till on approaching the Great Glen they have a decidedly NW dip. Crossing the Great Glen and ascending the valley of the Spean, we find a succession of quartzose flagstones with bands of mica schist, which are overlaid by mica schists with limestones, the whole series dipping towards the SE. From these data, as well as from the occurrence of crystalline limestones in the island of Lismore, Sir Roderick Murchison and Dr Archibald Geikie inferred that the Great Glen coincided with an anticlinal fold, which gradually increased towards the SW, and brought to the surface the Silurian limestones and overlying quartzose flagstones of Ross and Sutherland. Above the Bridge of Spean the limestones and mica schists are associated with hornblendic rocks, and these are succeeded by a great development of sericite schists, quartz schists, and ordinary mica schists. Further to the E, along the crest of the Grampians at Dalwhinnie, there is an anticlinal fold in gray micaceous gneiss, schists, and quartzites, which underlie the crystalline limestone series of Perthshire. It is probable, therefore, that subsequent investigations may prove that the latter are on the same horizon as the limestones, mica schists, and hornblendic rocks of Glen Spean.

There is one section in the county of special importance, on account of the variety of minerals obtained from the beds. It occurs in Glen Urquhart, not far from Drumnadrochit, where the mica schists and gneiss are associated with crystalline limestones and serpentine. The following minerals have been obtained from this locality by Professor Heddle: orthoclase, andesine, biotite, edenite, hydrous anthophyllite, tremolite, zoisite, kyanite, chondrodite, Wollastonite, sphene, and garnet. Anotber celebrated mineralogical locality occurs in the N of the county at Struy. There the minerals are embedded in a pegmatite vein, which seems to have participated in the foldings of the micaceous gneiss on either side. The predominating mineral in the vein is felspar of two very different tints, one displaying a delicate pink tinge when the rock is freshly fractured, and the other a blue shade. Notwithstanding this difference in colour, the chemical analysis points to the conclusion that the felspar is orthoclase. Associated with the felspar are muscovite, tourmaline, garnets, and, still more rarely, zircon with beautiful hexagonal crystals of beryl. In the course of the excursions of the Inverness Field Club, a blue mineral was found in considerable abundance in the gneiss and granite between Inverness and Abriachan, which on analysis proved to be a new mineral, and which has since received the name of Abriachanite. Reference ought also to be made to the fine crystals of epidote occurring in the granite on the shores of Loch Ness near Dochfour.

Numerous granite masses are associated with the stratified crystalline rocks, chiefly to the E of the Caledonian Canal. There is one area of considerable extent, however, to the W of the Great Glen, along the shores of Loch Ness at Abriachan. A portion of the granite mass forming the Ben Macdhui range is included in this county, and also a fragment of the Rannoch area, while small bosses occur to the E of Loch Errocht. One of the most interesting of these granite masses is that which forms Ben Nevis, because it shows in a conspicuous manner those lithological variations peculiar to this type of rock. The lower portion of the mountain is composed of coarsely crystalline granite, with the normal constituents, while the crest consists of grey and pink porphyritic felsite.

The representatives of the Old Red Sandstone form a continuous belt along the E side of the Great Glen, from Culloden Moor to near the Falls of Foyers; while beyond Fort Augustus they are traceable along the E shore of Loch Oich. Again, on the W side they extend from Clachnaharry by Craig Phadrick to near the mouth of Loch Ness, reappearing on both sides of Glen Urquhart, and capping Mealfourvonie. At the base of the series the beds consist of coarse breccias and conglomerate, resting unconformably on the crystalline rocks, and passing upwards into chocolate sandstones and flags, with the well-known band of nodular limestone containing ichthyolites. The basal beds are admirably displayed on Mealfourvonie, on the hills between Inverfarigaig and Loch Duntelchaig, and also in the river Nairn near Daviot. The blocks in the conglomerates and breccias are composed of the underlying gneiss, mica schists, and quartzites, along with fragments of granite and porphyritic felsite. Indeed, so numerous are the granite blocks in the breccias near Inverfarigaig, that the inference seems obvious that the contiguous granite mass is older than the Old Red Sandstone of the Great Glen. Many of the breccias and conglomerates show manifest proofs of alteration, evidently resulting from the repeated earth movements along the Great Glen. The well-known fish bed is visible in the Big Burn near Loch Ashie, and also in the Nairn section at Nairn-side, where it has yielded to Mr Wallace of Inverness remains of Dipterus. This horizon is succeeded by a considerable development of purple flags, with occasional bands of grit containing fish scales. At various horizons the flags are fossiliferous; but at Hillhead quarry, S of Dalcross station, fine plates of Asterolepis Asmussii have been obtained.

In the Beauly basin there is also a considerable thickness of the basal conglomerates and breccias, which give rise to the picturesque scenery at the Falls of Kilmorack. They are traceable S by Belladrum House, in the direction of Abriaclvan.

The Great Glen is perhaps the most conspicuous example in Scotland of the coincidence of a valley with a great fracture in the earth's crust. Whether this fracture may be of pre-Old-Red-sandstone age, it is impossible to say in the present state of our knowledge. But from the distribution of the conglomerates and breccias along the Great Glen, it is evident that a hollow at least must have existed along that line as far back as the beginning of Old Red Sandstone times. The high inclination of the conglomerates and sandstones, as well as the proofs of dislocation of the strata, clearly show that they are traversed by a fault. Still further to the NE, at Eathie, Port-an-Righ, and Cadh-an-Righ, on the W shore of the Moray Firth, patches of oolitic strata have been thrown against the cliffs of Old Red Sandstone by a fault, the downthrow being to the SE. The direction of this fault coincides with the trend of the fracture traversing the Great Glen; and if the one be a contiuation of the other, it would show that there must have been displacement of the strata along that line at a period later than the upper oolite. It is probable, however, as has been suggested by Dr Archibald Geikie, that this fracture may be of ancient date, and that it has been affected by subterranean movements at different geological periods.

Everywhere throughout the county there are manifest proofs of intense glaciation. The splendid roches moutonnées and striated surfaces, the gentle slopes of boulder clay, the innumerable moraine heaps, all point to prolonged glacial action in these Highland valleys. The Great Glen naturally formed the chief outlet for the ice which streamed from the valleys on either side of it; but during the maximum glaciation the ice-flow did not always coincide with the lines of drainage in these tributary valleys. Indeed in some cases the ice actually ascended the valleys, as in the case of Glen Roy, described by Mr Jamieson. The occurrence of Old Red Sandstone fragments at considerable elevations in the NE of Inverness-shire, and in the adjoining county of Nairn, to which they have been carried by ancient glaciers, indicates that the ice must have been so thick as to override the hill-tops at the mouth of the Great Glen. But in addition to these interesting facts bearing on the great extension of the ice, there is conclusive proof of the existence of milder periods, when the icesheet disappeared from the surface of the country. In the heart of the boulder clay are found beds of sand, gravel, and clay, of considerable thickness, some of which are marine and others probably of fresh-water origin. These are best developed in the adjacent county of Nairn, where they have yielded marine shells; and a description of them will be given in connection with the geology of that county.

Of the various superficial deposits connected with the glacial period in Scotland perhaps none has given rise to greater controversy than the Parallel Roads of Lochaber. Their remarkable features, and the interesting questions which they present for solution, have excited the attention of geologists from the beginning of the century. They are seen to best advantage in Glen Roy, a tributary of the Spean, to the S of which lies the mass of high ground round Ben Nevis. In Glen Roy there are three terraces which are traceable to the head of the valley; their heights above the sea-level being 1148, 1067, and 855 feet respectively. The lowest of these is prolonged into- Glen Spean following the windings of that valley to the watershed separating it from one of the tributaries of the Spey. In Glen Gloy draining into Loch Lochy, the highest of these terraces occurs at a height of 1172 feet, while a second shelf in the same valley stands at 964 feet. The materials of which the terraces are composed consist for the most part of angular and subangular stones derived from the adjacent hill slopes which have not been subjected to much aqueous action. Indeed a minute examination of the blocks shows conclusively that they are of local origin, resembling the detritus which might be dislodged by ordinary atmospheric agencies of waste. The terraces vary in breadth from 40 to 70 feet, and they likewise have a gentle slope towards the middle of the valley. Throughout their course they remain perfectly horizontal, and on opposite sides of the valleys the corresponding terraces are precisely on the same level. An important feature connected with them which helps to throw light on the question of their origin, is the fact that each of the chief terraces nearly coincides in level with a col or water parting between two valleys. The highest of the parallel roads in Glen Roy is about the level of the col separating that valley from the head waters of the Spey, the second terrace is on the level of the Glen Glaster col, while the lowest of the three coincides in height with the pass at the head of the Spean.

Various ingenious theories have been advanced to account for their origin, but only one of these has met with general acceptance. It ascribes their origin to the action of glacier lakes during the glacial period. This theory, which was first suggested by Agassiz and supported by a strong body of evidence obtained by Mr Jamieson in 1863, and also by the recent researches of Mr Jolly, seems to give the most satisfactory explanation of the phenomena. According to this theory the ice which streamed into the Spean valley from the glens round Ben Nevis partly flowed E by Glen Laggan and partly down the Spean into the Great Glen. So powerful was this vast accumulation of ice that it actually ascended the tributary valley of the Roy. As the climatic conditions became less severe and the ice retreated to the mouth of Glen Roy, a lake was formed the surface level of which was determined by the height of the col at the head of the valley. When the water stood at this level it was prevented from escaping by the Glen Glaster col owing to the accumulation of ice which radiated from the Loch Treig valley. As the ice retreated still farther the waters fell to the level of the Glen Glaster col when the second terrace was formed, and another stage in the retirement of the glaciers is indicated by the lowest shelf which, as already indicated, is continued throughout Glen Spean and Glen Roy; the surplus water escaping by the Muckal Pass. In each case the huge barrier of ice held back the sheet of water for a considerable period, and it was during these intervals that the materials which were dislodged from the hill-slopes were arrested by the surface of the lake and were arranged in the form of a narrow shelving terrace.

Throughout the county there are magnificent examples of moraines deposited by the later glaciers either in the form of conical mounds or sinuous ridges running down the valleys or obliquely across them. The materials vary in character from loose sandy matter with subangular stones, some of which are striated, to coarse gravel. Special reference ought to be made to the remarkable ridges of Torvean and Tomnahurich at the month of the Great Glen near Inverness, which may possibly be of morainic origin. The former runs obliquely across the valley to the Asylum Lodge, where it bifurcates, one branch extending to Dunain House, while the other skirts the Asylum road, and disappears at a height of about 350 feet. The branch leading to Dunain House stands on the 100-feet terrace, while the terminal portion is on the level of the 30-feet beach. The ridge of Tomnahurich, which is isolated from that of Torvean, rises from the level of the 30-feet beach to a height of about 200 feet above the sea. Occasionally the materials composing these ridges are rudely stratified, but more frequently they display no such arrangement, being merely a rude assortment of shingle or coarse gravel. The stones are such as might have been derived from the Old Red Sandstone areas, and from the metamorphic and igneous rocks of the district.

The 100-feet terrace forms a belt of richly cultivated ground, stretching from Inverness along the slopes of Culloden Moor by Fort George station to the county boundary. The deposits, which consist of sand, gravel, and stratified clays, laid down on stiff sandy boulder clay, have been much denuded, and hence the surface of the ancient sea-beach is somewhat irregular. Near Fort George, on the bluff cliff overlooking the 25-feet terrace, a section of dark blue clay is exposed, which yielded to Mr Jamieson remains of marine shells. This clay or fine silt is well-nigh free from stones, and is extremely tough, resembling in general character the late glacial clays of the same age in the basin of the Forth. The forms commonly met with are Astarte sulcata, A. elliptiea, Tellina calcarea, Leda pernula, and from their appearance, as well as their position, it would seem as if they had lived and died in the deposit in which they are now found. Again, at Fort William marine shells have been obtained in ancient sea-beaches. Some of the forms are now confined to Arctic seas, while others are still common to the shores of Britain. The 25-feet terrace is very well marked in the neighbourhood of Inverness, and is traceable along the S shore of the Firth to Fort George, where it is covered by an extensive series of sand dunes.

Soils and Agriculture.—The soils vary very greatly, from much of the worst to a little of the best in Scotland. Along the river Beauly and the upper part of the Beauly Firth there is a considerable amount of clay, unprofitably rich in some cases, and producing the same crops as similar soils farther to the S; and the wheat and other kinds of grain reach maturity early. Strathglass and Strathfarar are stony, but have some good haugh and meadow soil. Along the Aird there is good black loam towards the border of the Firth, while towards the hills the soil is lighter but good. In both Glen Urquhart and Glen Moriston the soil is good, though in places very stony. The fringes and haughs of cultivated or cultivable land about the other glens to the W are small but of fair quality, and the same may be said of the minor districts to the E and of almost the whole of Lochaber and Badenoch. In Strathdores and the flat district along the Inner Moray Firth towards Fort George the land is mostly good and very productive loam, though parts of the latter are light and sandy, and a part about Fort George is mossy. In Strathnairn there are a few patches of haugh and some light sandy gravel, and the same holds good of Strathdearn. Along Strathspey there is a good deal of fertile loam, generally in the Inverness-shire part, tending to lightness, and this in the districts below Badenoch produces good crops with anything like a fair season, though the frosts are unseasonable. In the part of Strathspey in Badenoch and Laggan, where the height is from 900 to 1400 feet, there is no lack of good loam, but the climate is very unfavourable, the stooks of cut grain being sometimes not got in till snow has begun to fall, while frosts remain late in the season and commence early. The inhabitants of the rest of the county are not dependent on the cultivation of the soil.

Up till about 1820 farming operations in Inverness-shire were in a very backward state, and though a great stimulus was given to efforts for improvement by the new roads opened about 1820, and by the Caledonian Canal in 1822, it took a long time for it to tell. Between 1854 and the present time the area under crop of all kinds has increased more than 100 per cent. In 1845 there seem to have been in the whole county about 40, 000 acres under crop of all kinds, including grass and hay in rotation. By 1855 this had grown only to 44, 242 acres, while in 1866 there were 77,170, in 1876, 86, 652, and in 1882, 89, 501. The principal increase has taken place in the parishes of Ardersier, Croy, Daviot, and Dores; but the improvements in Strathspey and elsewhere are also considerable. Still, however, the percentage (4·6) of cultivated area is higher only than that of Sutherland (2·4), that for all Scotland being 24·2, and for Fife 74·8. The areas under the various crops are given in the following tables:—

Grain Crops.—Acres.

Year.Wheat.Barley or Bere.Oats.Total.
1854, . .1684367413,67419,032
1870, . .1467673430,02838,229
1877, . .515730830,94738,770
1882, . .38873130,90839,677

Grass, Root Crops, etc.—Acres.

Year.Hay, Grass, and
Permanent Pasture.
1854, . ...5,1353524
1870, . .55,92210,2758340
1877, . .62,26911,3868091
1882, . .68,42311,4958245

while there are about 900 acres annually under beans, rye, vetches, fallow, etc. Between 1867 and 1882 the permanent pasture never broken up has increased from 32,009 acres to 40, 309. In the best agricultural part of the county-in the parishes of Ardersier, Dores, Kirkhill, Kilmorack, Kiltarlity, and Petty-the harvest is from a week to ten days later than in the Lothians; but in the other parts of the county the time is very variable. The farms are worked mostly on the five-shift rotation, while on the heavy clays at Beauly the four and six shift systems are mostly adopted. The average yield of wheat is 28 to 35 bushels, barley 35 bushels, oats 35 to 45 bushels, and turnips from 14 to 30 tons per acre. The very great decrease in the area under wheat is noteworthy, as, Elgin excepted, Inverness used to be the greatest wheat-growing county N of Kincardine. It is probably due to the effect of recent wet seasons on the very heavy clay land on which it is grown.

The agricultural live stock in the county is shown in the following table:—

1854, . .21,8093038542,0281529568,404
1870, . .45,9017998737,1663404794,469
1876, . .53,2429008724,5184127790,795
1882, . .51,8558949703,9543531768,289

The cattle belong to the Highland, cross, shorthorn, polled, and Ayrshire breeds, though the last is not very numerous, nor to be found in many localities except about the town of Inverness, where they are kept for dairy purposes. There was a very good herd of shorthorns at Hillhead at Ardersier, but it was broken up in 1860. There was one at Dochfour from 1870 till the present year, but it was dispersed in May 1883 in consequence of the death of the late Mr Evan Baillie of Dochfour. A number of the best animals were purchased for, and the Dochfonr herd is to be re-established by, the present owner of the estate, Mr J. Evan Bruce Baillie. Along Strathspey there are a number of polled animals, but there are not very many either of this or the shorthorn breed in the county. Of the Highland breed- the one natural to the county-there are more animals in Inverness-shire than in any other county of Scotland, and everywhere excellent examples of these cattle are to be found. One of the principal herds is that at Faillie, 7 miles S of Inverness. Crosses are good in a few places, but in most districts they are of a very nondescript character, and stand sadly in want of improvement. There was a fine herd at Morayston, Petty, which is now broken up; but good specimens are to be found about Beauly and in Strathspey. There are Clydesdale horses in the lowland districts, but the horses get lighter on the high grounds. For instance, in Badenoch they are smaller than in Strathspey, in Laggan smaller than in Badenoch, and in Lochaber smaller still. Small Highland ponies are very numerous. The principal breeds of sheep are the Cheviot and the blackfaced, of which there are about equal numbers. The finest Cheviots are generally to be found about Strathglass; and on the Braes of Lochaber, Laggan, and Badenoch the largest and finest flocks of blackfaced sheep in the county, and probably in the Highlands. In the lower district a few Leicesters and half-breds are kept. Hoggs are mostly sold at Muir of Ord, wethers at Falkirk Tryst, and ewes and lambs at the great sheep and wool fair held annually at Inverness. The capital invested in sheep in the county amounts to over a million, and the sale of surplus stock brings in about £400, 000 a year. The best land rents at from 40s. to 45s., the medium at 25s., and the poor at from 10s. to 15s. per acre. The rents of sheep farms are about 3s. 6d. to 4s. per head for blackfaced, and 5s. to 6s. for Cheviots. About 90 per cent. of the holdings are under 50 acres, and the bulk of the remainder are from 50 to 250 acres, the arable farms of larger size being very few. Some of the sheep grazings are, of course, of large extent. In 1875 there were 5665 holdings of 50 acres or less, 239 of from 50 to 1v00, 235 of from 100 to 300, and 32 of more than 300.

The area of the county, inclusive of the islands, may be estimated as follows:—Arable land under crops and permanent pasture, 129, 810 acres; lakes and rivers, 124, 240; woods, including all the natural wood, 250, 000; deer forests, 350, 000; which leaves the very large remainder of 1, 900, 000, of which about 1, 000, 000 provide feeding for sheep, while 900, 000 are heath or waste, and of no value except for grouse moors, and some parts not even for that, so inaccessible or barren are they. The whole district under heath amounts probably to about 1, 350, 000 acres or two-thirds of the entire county. The higher mountains are not covered with heath to the summit, nor are the mountains in all the districts equally bare. The hills of Lochaber have a good mixed pasture of grass and heath. Glennevis is of this description, though it skirts the highest mountain in Britain. The hills of Arasaig, Glen Pean, Glen Quoich, and Glen Roy-those on both sides of Loch Lochy, particularly at Lowbridge, where the hills in general are as green as a meadow-those on the sides of Loch Oich up to the NE end-those in Glenelg, at the head of Strathglass- and on the braes of Badenoch, are all green, and yield plentiful pasture. Along the ` rough bounds ' on the other hand, as well as in Strath Errick and at the head of Strathnairn and Strathdearn, hardly a green spot is to be seen except along the streams. There is a considerable amount of peat moss lying on gravel, rock, or clay, and furnishing abundant supplies of fuel. It is curious that none of these mosses, except a patch at Corpach and one or two other places, lie in the bottom of valleys, but on land above their general level. The deer forests are numerous and extensive. The principal are Glenaffric Forest at the top of Strathaffric, Guisachan Forest along the S side of Strathaffric, Invermoriston Forest N of the entrance to Glen Moriston, Portclair Forest S of the same entrance, Glenquoich Forest on the N side of Glen Garry E of Glen Quoich, Glengarry Forest between Loch Garry and Loch Lochy, Lochiel Forest on the S side of Loch Arkaig, Mamore Forest S of Glennevis, Ben Alder Forest between Loch Laggan and Loch Ericht, the Forest of Drumochter E from Loch Ericht, Gaick Forest across the upper part of Glen Tromie, Glen Feshie Forest in the upper part of Glen Feshie, and Glenmore Forest along the base of the Cairngorms. The game in the high woodlands and moors is red deer, roe deer, hares, black game, grouse, ptarmigan, and partridges. Foxes and otters are by no means uncommon, while the last Scottish wolf is said to have been killed in the Lochiel country in 1680 by Sir Ewan Cameron, but this is doubtful, as many districts in Scotland seem to have possessed a veritable last wolf. At Abernethy and Rothiemurchus in Strathspey there are magnificent forests in which almost the whole wood is of natural growth. They were at one time much larger, but vast quantities of wood were cut down in the beginning of the present century. There are 8 proprietors holding each 100,000 acres and upwards, 11 between 50, 000 and 100,000, 12 between 20,000 and 50,000, and 58 between 1000 and 20,000. The principal estates, most of which are separately noticed, are Abertarff, Airds, Aldourie, Ardmore, Ardverikie, Balmacaan, Balmain, Balranald, Belladrum, Belleville, Bunchrew, Castle Stewart, Chisholm, Cluny, Congash, Culloden, Daviot, Dochfour, Farr, Fassifern, Fingask, Foyers, Glenmazeran, Glenmoriston, Glentruim, Golanfield, Gortuleg, Invereshie, Invergarry, Inverie, Inverlochy, Invertromie, Lakefield, Lentran, Leys, Lochiel, Lovat, Moy, Ness, and Raigmore, exclusive of those in the islands noticed under Hebrides and Skye. The commerce is centred at the town of Inverness, and has been noticed in our account of that place, and manufacturing industries there are practically none except a woollen manufactory and a distillery in Skye, and another distillery at Glennevis. The mainland fishery centre is at Fort William, and is noticed in that article. The island fisheries are noticed in the articles Hebrides and Skye. A large proportion of the inhabitants of Inverness and its neighbourhood speak English, but in other districts Gaelic is mostly spoken.

Communications, etc.—For its first respectable roads Inverness-shire is indebted to the rebellions of 1715 and 1745, which otherwise cost it so dear. Immediately after that outbreak Fort George, Fort Augustus, and Fort William were erected as a chain of forts across the country, and detachments were sent thence to Inverness, to Bernera, opposite Skye, and to Castle Duart in Mull, while detachments under the direction of General Wade were, between 1726 and 1737, set to work on the construction of those military roads which used to excite the astonishment and gratitude of travellers, and which gave rise to the couplet somewhat Hibernian in expression whatever its sentiment—

Had you seen these roads before they were made,
You would hold up your hands and bless General Wade

Still farther progress took place in the beginning of the present century, when the Parliamentary Commission roads were made. Between 1804 and 1820, 875 miles of roadway were made through the Highlands, and principally in Inverness-shire, at a cost to the country of £267, 000, to the counties concerned of £214,000, and to the proprietors of neighbouring estates of £60,000. These were added to from time to time till 1845, when the present fully adequate system was pretty nearly completed. The main lines of communication follow the old military roads which were, first, from Inverness through Badenoch on by Dalwhinnie to the borders of Perthshire (52 miles); second, the Boleskine road from Inverness to Fort Augustus by the SE side of the Great Glen from which a road passed by Glen Tarff, Corrieyairack, and the upper waters of the Spey, till it reached the Perth road at Dalwhinnie (30); third, the road from Fort Augustus to Fort William and on to Ballachulish (45); and fourth, the S road by Fort George, Nairn, etc. Of the new lines of communication the Great North road from Inverness passes along the shore of the Beauly Firth to Beauly, and thence into Ross. There is a good road along the NW side of the Great Glen sending off branches to the smaller side glens. A cross road leaves the Fort William road at Kilmonivaig, and passes, by Glen Spean, Loch Laggan, and upper Strathspey, to Dalwhinnie, where it joins the Perth road, and a branch striking off at Roy Bridge proceeds by Glen Roy to join the road already mentioned as passing over Corrieyairack. Another main line of road passes from Glen Foyers by Strathnairn to Daviot. The ground on the S side of Corrieyairack is so steep that the road had to be carried up by a series of seventeen zigzag traverses; this is now used only as a drove road, and here, as well as along the higher portion of the Perth road, lines of posts stand by the wayside short distances apart, so that the road may be ascertained during heavy snowstorms. The minor district roads are all excellent. The Caledonian Canal along the Great Glen is described in a separate article. The Forres and Perth section of the Highland Railway system passes through the county for a distance of 41 miles from the Dulnan river near its mouth on the N to the borders of Perthshire at the pass of Drumouchter on the S. The Inverness and Keith section of the same system enters the county 2 miles E of Fort George station, and passes through it for 10 miles to Inverness, whence it is continued northward by the Dingwall section which passes round the border of the Beauly Firth, and quits the county after 13 miles at Muir of Ord station. The Speyside section of the Great North of Scotland railway passes through the Strathspey district from Boat of Garten to the boundary near Cromdale after a run of 12 miles.

The only royal burgh in the county is Inverness. Fort William is a police burgh with over 1500 inhabitants, Beauly a burgh of barony with about 900, and Kingussie-the chief place in the upper district-a police burgh with over 600. Villages with more than 300 inhabitants are Campbelton, Clachnaharry, Newtonmore, and Portree; and villages of smaller size are Balloch, Broadford, Connage, Culcabock, Fort Augustus, Glenelg, Hilton, Invermoriston, Kyle-Akin, Lewiston, Lochmaddy, Lynchat, Petty, Resaudrie, Smithtown, Stein, and Stuarton. Markets are held at Muir of Ord, Inverness, Strathdearn (Freeburn), Newtonmore, Kingussie, Fort Augustus, Fort William, Urqulhart, and Bridge of Spean.

The civil county contains the twenty-seven entire quoad civilia parishes of Abernethy, Alvie, Ardersier, Boleskine and Abertarff, Dores, Duthil, Glenelg, Inverness, Kilmonivaig, Kilmorack, Kiltarlity, Kingussie, Kirkhill, Laggan, Urquhart, Urray, all on the mainland; and Barra, Bracadale, Duirinish, Harris, Kilmuir, North Uist, Portree, Sleat, Snizort, South Uist, and Strath, in the islands; and nine parts of parishes, viz., Ardnamurchan, Kilmalie, and Small Isles, all shared with Argyll; Cromdale, shared with Elgin; and Cawdor, Croy, Daviot, Moy, and Petty, all shared with Nairn. The quoad sacra parishes of Bernera, Duncansburgh, Glengarry, Waternish, Insh, Knoydart, Rothiemurchus, Stenscholl, and Trumsigarry, and parts of the similar parishes of Aharacle, Ballachulish, and Inverallan, are also included. A few of these lie ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Dingwall and the synod of Ross; the others are divided among the presbyteries of lnverness and Nairn in the synod of Moray, and the presbyteries of Abertarff, Lochcarron, Skye, and Uist in the synod of Glenelg. The church services are conducted in Gaelic, except in one or two cases. There are also 45 places of worship connected with the Free Church, 3 in connection with the U.P. Church, 2 in connection with the Baptist Church, 1 in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 6 in connection with the Episcopal Church, and 21 in connection with the Roman Catholic Church. In the year ending Sept. 1882 there were in the county 162 schools, of which 140 were public, with accommodation for 17,788 children. These had 12,704 on the rolls, and an average attendance of 8658. The staff consisted of 183 certificated, 11 assistant, and 50 pupil teachers. Inverness-shire, with a constituency (1882-83) of 2112, returns one member to parliament. It is governed by a lord-lieutenant, 53 deputy-lientenants, and 250 justices of the peace. It forms a division of the sheriffdom of Inverness, Elgin, and Nairn, with resident sheriff-substitutes for the Inverness, Fort William, Skye, and Long Island districts. Ordinary courts are held every Thursday and Friday from 1 Oct. to 31 March and from 1 May to 31 July. There is a small debt court every Friday during session, and circuit small debt courts at Kingussie on the Tuesday preceding the first Wednesday after 16 Jan., and on the Tuesday preceding the first Wednesday in May and September; on days not fixed at Fort Augustus and Beauly; and at Grantown for the adjoining Inverness-shire districts on the first Wednesday after the 16 Jan. and the first Wednesdays in May and September. Quarter sessions are held on the first Tuesdays of March, May, and August, and the last Tuesday of October; and monthly justice of peace courts are held at Grantown, Kingussie, Fort William, Portree, Dunvegan, Long Island, Lochmaddy, Barra, and Harris. The police force, exclusive of the burgh of Inverness, consists of 40 men (1 to each 1826 of the population), under a chief constable, with a salary of £250 a year. In 1881 the number of persons tried at the instance of the police was 217, convicted 200, committed for trial 82, not dealt with 33. The number of registered poor in 1881 was 3094, of dependants on these 1054; of casual poor 458, of dependants on these 329. The receipts were £28,106, and the expenditure £27, 314. All the parishes are assessed for the poor except Small Isles. Inverness has a poorhouse and a combination, noticed in that article; three parishes belong to the poor-law combination of Nairn, and seven to the poor-law combination of Skye. The proportion of illegitimate births averages about 8 per cent., the average death-rate about 17 per 1000. Connected with the county are the 2d battalion Cameron Highlanders (Militia); the 1st Inverness-shire Artillery Volunteers, with 6 batteries at Inverness, and outside the county batteries at Burghead, Cromarty, Stornoway, Loch Carron, and Nairn (2); and the 1st Inverness Highland Rifle Volunteers, with companies at Inverness (4), Fort William, Kingussie, Beauly, Portree, Ardersier, and Roy Bridge. Valuation (1674) £6099, (1815) £185,565, (1843) £182,064, (1865) £237, 348 (1871) £271,912, (1876) £293, 250-all exclusive of burgh, railways, and canal, -and (1883) £329, 807, Highland railway £16, 679, Great North of Scotland railway £2039, and Caledonian Canal £110, or a total of £348, 635, exclusive of the burgh. Pop. of registration county, which takes in the whole of the parishes of Cromdale, Croy, Daviot, Moy, Petty, and Small Isles, but gives off its parts of Abernethy, Ardnamurchan, Cawdor, Cromdale, Duthil, Kilmalie, and Urray (1871) 84, 258, (1881) 86,389; civil county (1801) 72, 672, (1811) 77, 671, (1821) 89, 961, (1831) 94, 797, (1841) 97,799, (1851) 96, 500, (1861) 88, 261, (1871) 87, 531, (1881) 90,454, of whom 43,852 were males and 46,602 were females. In 1881 the number of families was 19, 836, the number of houses 17,215, and the number of rooms 63, 097.

The territory now forming the mainland parts of Inverness-shire anciently belonged to the Vacomagi, and was afterwards the centre of the territory inhabited by the Northern Picts. After the seat of Pictish power passed further S, we find the northern part of the county forming part of the great division of Morevia (see Moray), while the southern part belonged to Argathelia, which extended to the Mull of Kintyre. The northern part was for long debatable ground between the Kings of Alban and the Norwegian Earls of Orkney, and it was not till the time of Malcolm III. that it passed firmly into the possession of the Scottish kings. In the Acts of David I. about the middle of the 12th century, the sheriffdom of Inverness d mentioned as comprehending the whole of the kingdom N of the Grampians. An Act in relation to it owing any man accused of theft a certain period within which to produce the alleged vendor of what he was accused of having stolen, says:-- ' Aif ane dwellis bezond Drum Albin in Moray, Ross, Caithness, Argyle, or in Kintyre, he sall have fyfteen daies and eke ane month to produce his warrand before the Schiref; and gif he goes for his warrand dwelland in Moray, Ross, or in any of the Steids or Places pertaining to Moray, and can nocht find nor apprehend his warrand, he sall pass to the Schiref of Inverness, wha sall, ' etc. The shires of Elgin, Nairn, and Cromarty were constituted in the second half of the 13th century; those of Argyll, Sutherland, and Caithness were constituted in 1633; and Ross in 1661, at which time Inverness-shire took nearly its present limits, except for the small interchange of territory with Elginshire in 1870. The principal antiquities are noticed in the separate parishes. We may here mention the vitrified forts at Craig Phadrick close to Inverness and others in Boleskine and in Kiltarlity. There are Caledonian remains in the form of tumuli, cairns, and stone pillars and circles in almost every parish in the county. The duns or Pictish towers in Glenelg, and the remains of circles, etc., at Clava, are particularly worthy of notice. Besides the antiquities noticed in the article on the burgh of Inverness, there is an old castle at Urquhart on Loch Ness, Ruthven Barracks at Kingussie, the ruins of the chapel of the chiefs of Clan Chattan in Moy, ruins of Beauly Priory, the castle at Castle Stuart, another at Dalcross in Daviot, a building at Ardersier said to have belonged to the Knights Templars, and an old church at Laggan. The lands in possession of the clans varied from time to time, though to a very slight degree. The following was the general distribution. The district about Beauly and along by the Aird and Belladrum belonged to the Frasers, as did also Strathaffric and Glen Cannich and all Strath Errick N to Culduthel near Inverness. Strathfarrer and Strathglass were in the hands of the Chisholms. All the country along the NW side of Loch Ness from the N side of Glen Urquhart to beyond Glen Moriston, and about half way along Loch Oich belonged to the Grants, as did also the lower waters of the Spey, from Upper Craigellachie, near Aviemore, down to the boundary of the county and beyond it. The Clan Ranald Macdonalds held the district about Glen Garry, and all westward to the Sound of Sleat, except a small corner between Loch Hourn and Glenelg Bay, which was in the possession of the MacLeods of Harris. Along the valleys of Loch Eil and Loch Arkaig were the Camerons, whose domains also crossed the line of the Great Glen and extended along Glennevis. In Glen Spean, and particularly on the S side, were the Macdonalds of Keppoch, and N of them up to Corryarrick were Clan Ranald of Lochaber. The Forest of Gaick and Glen Feshie were included in the lands of the Earl of Huntly, while the flat country from Inverness to Fort George belonged to the Earl of Moray. Between Upper Craigellachie and Kinrara, and extending E to the Cairngorm Mountains, were the Shaws of Rothiemurchus or Clan Quhele; while the whole of the rest of the county by Strathnairn, Strathdearn, Laggan, Loch Ericht, and down the river Spey to Kinrara, was in the hands of the great and powerful Clan Chattan, the two principal septs of which were the Mackintoshes and Macphersons. The former occupied the region N of the Monadhliath Mountains and the latter the track to the S. The clans of the island districts are given under the article Hebrides.

* This is N of Glén Dessary. There is another sgor nan Coireachan (3133 feet) S of the head of Glen Pean.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a great Highland county"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Inverness Shire ScoCnty
Place: Inverness Shire

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