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Campbelton, Inverness-shire

Historical Description

CAMPBELTON, a village, partly in the parish of PETTIE, but chiefly in the parish of ARDERSIER, county of INVERNESS, 6 miles (W.) from Nairn, and 10 (N. E.) from Inverness; containing, with the garrison of Fort George, 1200 inhabitants, of whom 944 are in the village. This place, which is indebted for its origin to the establishment of the garrison, takes its name from the Campbells, Earls Cawdor, upon whose lands it is built, on the eastern shore of a bay in the Moray Firth, remarkable for its picturesque beauty, and frequented as a bathing quarter. The houses are neat, and there are numerous well-stored shops, containing wares and merchandise of all kinds for the supply of the garrison; a subscription library has been established, and the village contains several good inns. From the base of a hill called Cromal or Crombal, which flanks the village on the east, there issues in a continued jet a strongly chalybeate spring, having a high character as a tonic, and which is resorted to by invalids: the summit of the hill commands a very extensive view, embracing parts of seven or eight counties. Campbelton proper, or that part of the village in Ardersier, contains 716 inhabitants; the back street of the village, which is in the parish of Pettie, contains 228, making in all 944, exclusive of the garrison of Fort George. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the herring-fishery, which is carried on with spirit and success; not less than sixteen boats, of twelve tons' burthen, sail to the fishing-stations of Helmsdale and Burgh-Head, each boat taking during the season about 200 barrels, valued at thirteen shillings each. The fishermen of Campbelton are also employed in the white-fishery off the coast, the fish usually taken being haddock, cod, skate, whiting, flounders, and occasionally turbot, halibut, and soles; the produce, after supplying the parish, is sent to Inverness, for which purpose, during the summer, there are lightly-built and fast-sailing vessels. A small coasting-trade is also carried on, in which three vessels of 100 tons, belonging to a family in the village, are employed, chiefly in the trade with Sunderland. The post-office has a regular delivery, and facility of communication is afforded by the great road from Inverness to Aberdeen, and the military road from Fort George to Perth, which pass through the village, and by a ferry from Fort George to Chanonry Point, in the county of Ross. A court for the recovery of small debts is held every month; and there is a fair, called the Lammas Market, annually on the 12th of August, for lambs, sheep, milch cows, a few horses, cheese, and various wares, and for the hiring of servants.

Fort George, in the parish of Ardersier, was erected soon after the rebellion in the year 1745, with a view to keep the Highlanders in subjection, being founded in 1748 under the direction of General Wade, and completed at a cost of more than £160,000. It is situated on the point of Ardersier, which projects far into the Firth, and commands the entrance of that channel. The buildings, which occupy an area of fifteen acres, form an irregular polygon, defended by six bastions, each named after some distinguished general of the time, and mounting, respectively, 18 twenty-four pounders, 25 eighteen. 22 twelve, and 4 six pounders. On three sides, the ramparts rise almost from the sea, which at any time may be let into the ditch; and on the land side, the fortress is defended by a broad ditch, a covered way and glacis, two lunettes, and a raveline mounting 8 twelve-pounders. The north and south curtains are bomb-proof, and contain each twenty-seven apartments, fifty-two feet in length and twelve feet wide; the grand magazine, which is also bomb-proof, will hold 2472 barrels of gunpowder, and at the eastern extremity are two smaller magazines, containing ammunition for immediate use. The barracks, which are towards the land point, comprise apartments for a governor, lieutenant-governor, fort-major, chaplain, eight field-officers, twenty-two captains, fifty-six subalterns, and 2090 non-commissioned officers and privates. There are also a chapel, brewhouse, bakehouse, and an inn, within the walls. The fortress is now garrisoned generally by depots of foreign regiments, and at present contains only about 256 inhabitants.

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