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TITLE
A Corner of Cromarty and Cromarty Firth
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0321
PLACENAME
Cromarty
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Cromarty
PERIOD
1920s
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32226
KEYWORDS
postcards
towns
ports
burghs
fishing
geology
ferries
navy
oil
A Corner of Cromarty and Cromarty Firth

This postcard shows a corner of Cromarty and the Cromarty Firth. In the distance is the coast of Easter Ross

Cromarty, from the Gaelic "cromba" meaning "crooked bay", is situated on the northern tip of the Black Isle on the shore of the Cromarty Firth, an inlet of the Moray Firth.

The building on the left is the West Parish Church, originally the Free Church, built in 1865-7 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire.

At Cromarty a narrow stretch of water separates the Black Isle from Nigg on the shore of Easter Ross. There has been a ferry crossing here since the thirteenth century when it was on the main route north for pilgrims heading to St Duthac's shrine in Tain. Modern road and rail routes bypass Cromarty but the ferry still operates in the summer months. Carrying only two cars, it is the smallest car ferry in the UK. The shore at Nigg has since been developed by the oil industry.

Cromarty grew up around a castle built here to protect the pilgrims and to enforce the King's power in the North. It was a Royal Burgh until the seventeenth century when it became to expensive to retain. Cromarty was also an important port exporting grain and salted fish and importing goods from Europe. It had an hereditary sheriff, first the Mowats and then the Urquharts the most famous being Sir Thomas Urquhart an eccentric who translated the French writer Rabelais' work into English, invented a universal language, and wrote incomprehensible books on mathematics. Sir Thomas believed he could trace his ancestry back to Adam. An ardent Royalist he supposedly died laughing on hearing of the restoration to the throne of Charles II

In 1767 George Ross of Pitkerie bought Cromarty Estate. Born in Easter Ross in 1700 he made his fortune in London as a solicitor and as an agent supplying the army with stores and weapons. He demolished Cromarty Castle in 1772 and built an elegant mansion house with an underground passage for tradesmen. He redeveloped the town. He built a hemp factory, one of the earliest factories in Scotland. Hemp was imported from the Baltic to make rope and to be woven in to cloth. He also built a brewery, piggery, nail works, lace works, the new harbour, the Courthouse and a church for incoming Gaelic speakers.

There was a fishing community here at least as far back as the seventeenth century. Herring fishing boomed in the 17th and 18th century. Cromarty was very prosperous and many of the old houses were rebuilt. However with the end of the herring boom, the growth of modern factories in the south and improved road and rail links which by-passed Cromarty the town declined.

Hugh Miller (1802-1856), geologist, stonemason, journalist and folklorist, was born here. His cottage, dating to 1711, is now a museum owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The town has a library donated by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

The Cromarty Firth is a deep natural harbour and Cromarty was an important naval base in World War I and World War II. The entrance to the Firth was easily protected from two headlands, the North and South Sutors, where the remains of the coastal defences can still be seen. More recently the Cromarty Firth has been used for the construction, repair and mothballing of North Sea oil rigs.

By the 1960s many of the houses were in poor condition. Since then the town has been restored and is one of the best preserved eighteenth century towns in Scotland.

Cromarty gives its name to one of the areas covered by the shipping forecast

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A Corner of Cromarty and Cromarty Firth

ROSS: Cromarty

1920s

postcards; towns; ports; burghs; fishing; geology; ferries; navy; oil

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows a corner of Cromarty and the Cromarty Firth. In the distance is the coast of Easter Ross<br /> <br /> Cromarty, from the Gaelic "cromba" meaning "crooked bay", is situated on the northern tip of the Black Isle on the shore of the Cromarty Firth, an inlet of the Moray Firth. <br /> <br /> The building on the left is the West Parish Church, originally the Free Church, built in 1865-7 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire.<br /> <br /> At Cromarty a narrow stretch of water separates the Black Isle from Nigg on the shore of Easter Ross. There has been a ferry crossing here since the thirteenth century when it was on the main route north for pilgrims heading to St Duthac's shrine in Tain. Modern road and rail routes bypass Cromarty but the ferry still operates in the summer months. Carrying only two cars, it is the smallest car ferry in the UK. The shore at Nigg has since been developed by the oil industry.<br /> <br /> Cromarty grew up around a castle built here to protect the pilgrims and to enforce the King's power in the North. It was a Royal Burgh until the seventeenth century when it became to expensive to retain. Cromarty was also an important port exporting grain and salted fish and importing goods from Europe. It had an hereditary sheriff, first the Mowats and then the Urquharts the most famous being Sir Thomas Urquhart an eccentric who translated the French writer Rabelais' work into English, invented a universal language, and wrote incomprehensible books on mathematics. Sir Thomas believed he could trace his ancestry back to Adam. An ardent Royalist he supposedly died laughing on hearing of the restoration to the throne of Charles II<br /> <br /> In 1767 George Ross of Pitkerie bought Cromarty Estate. Born in Easter Ross in 1700 he made his fortune in London as a solicitor and as an agent supplying the army with stores and weapons. He demolished Cromarty Castle in 1772 and built an elegant mansion house with an underground passage for tradesmen. He redeveloped the town. He built a hemp factory, one of the earliest factories in Scotland. Hemp was imported from the Baltic to make rope and to be woven in to cloth. He also built a brewery, piggery, nail works, lace works, the new harbour, the Courthouse and a church for incoming Gaelic speakers.<br /> <br /> There was a fishing community here at least as far back as the seventeenth century. Herring fishing boomed in the 17th and 18th century. Cromarty was very prosperous and many of the old houses were rebuilt. However with the end of the herring boom, the growth of modern factories in the south and improved road and rail links which by-passed Cromarty the town declined. <br /> <br /> Hugh Miller (1802-1856), geologist, stonemason, journalist and folklorist, was born here. His cottage, dating to 1711, is now a museum owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The town has a library donated by the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.<br /> <br /> The Cromarty Firth is a deep natural harbour and Cromarty was an important naval base in World War I and World War II. The entrance to the Firth was easily protected from two headlands, the North and South Sutors, where the remains of the coastal defences can still be seen. More recently the Cromarty Firth has been used for the construction, repair and mothballing of North Sea oil rigs.<br /> <br /> By the 1960s many of the houses were in poor condition. Since then the town has been restored and is one of the best preserved eighteenth century towns in Scotland.<br /> <br /> Cromarty gives its name to one of the areas covered by the shipping forecast