ROSEMARKIE, a parish, in the Mainland district of the county of Ross and Cromarty, 11 miles (N. N. E.) from Inverness; containing, with the burgh and late quoad sacra parish of Fortrose, 1719 inhabitants, of whom 637 are in the rural districts of the parish. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language "a headland or promontory, and the resort of mariners," from the elevated situation of its church on the shore of the Moray Frith. The parish, which is bounded on the east by the Frith, is about six miles in length, varying from two to three miles in breadth, and comprising an area of nearly fifteen square miles. The surface rises gradually from the shore to a considerable elevation, and towards the north and south is pleasingly diversified with hills of various height, of which the greater number are arable and in good cultivation. The coast towards the northern extremity is bold and elevated, and at Chanonry point projects far into the Frith, and forms a fine bay, affording good anchorage, and safe shelter for vessels during strong westerly gales. There are numerous springs of excellent water; and a small burn which flows into the bay, to the north of the town, after rains is much swollen, and in its rapid course makes some pleasing cascades. The soil in the upper portion of the parish is a deep clay of great fertility, and in the lower lands a fine black loam resting upon gravel; the crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips. The system of husbandry has been considerably improved under the auspices of the Black Isle Farming Society, but much still remains to be done; the farm houses and buildings are of very inferior order, and the lands but very partially inclosed. A few sheep of the small native breed are reared on some of the farms, and generally much attention is paid to live stock. About 900 acres are in plantations, chiefly of modern growth, and in a thriving state. The prevailing rocks along the coast are of the sandstone formation and gneiss, with veins of white quartz: the sandstone, which is of good quality for building, is wrought to a considerable extent, several quarries having been opened. Raddery House, the seat of H. M. Fowler, Esq., Flowerburn, and Hawkhill, are the mansions in the parish.
   The town of Rosemarkie is beautifully situated on the shore of the Frith. It is a place of great antiquity; it obtained from Alexander II. a charter conferring on the inhabitants all the privileges of a royal burgh, and in 1455 was by charter of James II. united with the Chanonry of Ross under the common name of Fortrose. There are neither any manufactures nor any trade carried on here, except for the immediate supply of the parish: a few of the inhabitants are employed in the salmon-fishery, of which the principal station is at the point of Fortrose. Fairs are held in April, June, and November, for cattle, and for the sale of cotton goods, coarse cloths, and various other wares. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3744. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Chanonry and synod of Ross. The minister's stipend is £249. 9. 6., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £9 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, erected on the site of the ancient edifice about the year 1821, is a spacious and handsome structure in the later English style, and contains 800 sittings. A church to which an adjacent district of the parish was till lately annexed quoad sacra by act of the General Assembly, has been raised in the town of Fortrose, where are also an episcopal chapel, a place of worship for members of the Free Church, and one for Baptists. The parochial school, of which the master's salary was early transferred to the grammar or burgh school, and afterwards to the academy at Fortrose, has been just re-established; and there are three Sabbath schools, all well attended. The principal antiquities are the ruins of the cathedral of Ross, in which are interred the remains of the family of the Mackenzies and other families. Among the distinguished residents of the parish have been, Sir George Mackenzie, of Rosehaugh, an able statesman; Dr. George Mackenzie, author of Lives of the most Eminent Writers of the Scottish Nation; and the late Sir James Mackintosh, who received the rudiments of his education at this place.
   See Fortrose.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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