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Alness, Ross and Cromarty

Historical Description

ALNESS, a parish, in the county of ROSS AND CROMARTY, 9 miles (N. E. by N.) from Dingwall; containing 1269 inhabitants, of whom 202 are in the village. This parish, which takes its name from two Gaelic words signifying a "burn" or small river, and a "point", is about twenty miles in extreme length, and five in average breadth. It is bounded on the north by Kincardine parish; on the south by the Cromarty Firth, which is here two miles broad; on the east by the parish of Rosskeen, from which it is separated by the river of Alness; and on the west by Kiltearn, from which it is separated by the river Auldgrande. The surface, towards the Firth, is for the most part flat, but in the northern part mountainous and wild; the climate is dry and salubrious, and the general appearance of the parish is pleasing, it being well-wooded, and presenting an agreeable variety of moor and well-cultivated land. In the northern quarter are two fresh-water lochs, abounding in black trout: one of them, called Loch Mary or Gildermary, is distinguished for its great depth, and the lofty and abrupt mountain scenery in its vicinity; the other, Loch Glass, is situated in a glen of that name. The salmon and salmon-trout taken in the Firth and the rivers are of very superior quality, and would be numerous were it not for the illegal depredations committed during the interdicted season. The chief rock in the parish is the old red sandstone; immense boulders of granite and gneiss are to be seen in different places, especially in the moorland districts, and some iron-ore has also been discovered, about five miles from the Firth, imbedded in a gneiss rock. The only village is Alness, which is nearly equally divided between this and the neighbouring parish of Rosskeen, by the river of Alness; in the Rosskeen portion a market is held for the sale of cattle, monthly. The annual value of real property in the parish is £4280.

Ecclesiastically the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Dingwall and synod of Ross; the Marchioness of Stafford is patron, and the minister's stipend is £230. 19. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum. The church, which was built in 1780, is in good condition, and will hold 800 people. A Free Church place of worship has been erected. The parochial school affords instruction in every branch of education; the master has a salary of £34, with £20 fees. There is also a school supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the teacher of which has a salary of £15, and land valued at £5 per annum, with the school-fees. Another is maintained by the funds raised under the auspices of the General Assembly; its master receives a salary of £20, and has a house, and a small piece of ground granted by the proprietor, Hugh A. J. Munro, Esq., of Novar. At Multivie, in the parish, two cairns were opened some years since, and found to contain human bones of a remarkably large size.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis


Online maps of Alness are available from a number of sites:

Postal districtIV17
Post TownAlness