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Ardersier, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

ARDERSIER, a parish, in the county of INVERNESS; containing, with the village of Campbelton proper, and the garrison of Fort-George, 1475 inhabitants, of whom 716 reside in the village. This parish, called in ancient documents Ardrosser, is supposed to have derived its name from a bold promontory towards the western shore, which rises to a height of 200 feet above the level of the sea. A considerable portion of the lands belonged to the diocese of Ross, and in 1574 was granted, with consent of the dean and chapter, to John Campbell of Calder, ancestor of the present proprietor, Earl Cawdor, who still pays to the crown an annual sum as bishop's rent. The Knights Templars had also some lands in the parish, over which they possessed a jurisdiction of regality; and the last preceptor. Sir James Sandilauds, obtained from Mary, Queen of Scots, the erection of his estates into a temporal barony, and, in 1563, was created Lord Torphichen.

The PARISH, which is bounded on the north and west by the Moray Firth, extends about four miles in length, from north-west to south-east, and is two miles in breadth, comprising 3250 acres, of which 1434 are arable, about 500 in plantations, and the remainder, meadow, pasture, and heath. The surface, with the exception of the high grounds to the west and north, is generally flat, and, towards the coast, low and sandy. In some parts the soil is a deep black mould, in others of lighter quality, and in some places a strong clay, alternated with shallow sand. The usual crops of grain, and large quantities of potatoes, are raised; the lands have been partly inclosed, and the modern improvements in husbandry are gradually taking place. The annual value of real property in the parish is £1540. A salmon-fishery on the coast is carried on to a moderate extent, there being two stations, the rents of which together amount to £60 per annum. Ecclesiastically Ardersier is within the bounds of the presbytery of Nairn and synod of Moray: the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 7., part of which is paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum: patron, Earl Cawdor. The church, situated in the eastern part of the parish, was built in 1802, and is a neat structure, containing 500 sittings. There are places of worship for the United Presbyterian Synod and members of the Free Church. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £36. 7. 1¾., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £20 per annum.

On the heath near the borders of the adjoining parish of Nairn, is an obelisk supposed to indicate the spot where the Danes were repulsed; and at Achnuallan were the remains of a Druidical circle, near which a horn filled with silver coins was found in 1800; but those remains have been removed for building materials. At Dalyards, the ruins of a building thought to have belonged to the Knights Templars have disappeared in the progress of agriculture; and on a hill behind Campbelton is a circular mount 120 yards in diameter at the base, and surrounded towards the summit by a rampart of clay and earth: it was called (in the Gaelic) Cromal, now corrupted into "Cromwell's mount", and has been partly destroyed, like many other fortlets. A Roman sword; the head of a spear; and some stone-axes supposed to be of Danish origin, have been found in the parish.

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


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

Postal districtIV2
Post TownInverness