Daviot and Dunlichty

   DAVIOT and DUNLICHTY, a parish, chiefly in the county of Inverness, but partly in that of Nairn, 5 miles (S. E.) from Inverness, containing 1681 inhabitants. These two ancient parishes were united about the year 1618: the former received its appellation, as is supposed, from David, Earl of Crawford, who built a fort here; and the latter, which is by far the larger, derives its name from the term dun-le-cutti, or "the hill of the Catti," which bisects the territory formerly held by the Catti, whose descendants now possess nearly the whole lands. At Tordarroch, in the parish of Dunlichty, the Earl of Moray caused 200 men of the clan Chattan to be hanged in a barn in one day, about the year 1532, for various acts of spoliation committed in his territory. They had been captured by stratagem, the earl having assembled them under pretence of holding a feudal court; and to each, while being led to the gallows, pardon was offered, upon condition of their betraying Hector Mackintosh, under whose command they had acted. The greater part of the moor where the celebrated and decisive battle of Culloden was fought on the 16th of April, 1746, is situated in this parish, as well as the spot on which the prince stood during the engagement; and the prince afterwards, with a few friends, crossed the river Nairn above the mains of Daviot, and, passing by Tordarroch, advanced to Gorthleck, in Stratherrick.
   The parish, the boundary line of which is very irregular, stretches along each side of the river Nairn, from north-east to south-west, for about twenty-five miles, and varies in breadth from one and a half to four or five miles; it comprises about 4000 acres under cultivation, 1500 natural pasture, 830 of natural wood, and above 2270 of plantations. The surface is altogether wild and dreary, and consists principally of the valley of Strathnairn, extending from Wester Aberchalder on the south-west, to the bridge of Daviot on the Highland road, where it contracts itself almost to a point, and terminates in a steep narrow glen. The hills on the south-eastern boundary are a continued chain, forming the northern range of the Munadh-Leagh mountains, and attain an elevation of from 1000 to 2000 feet above the level of the sea. The boundary on the west and north-west consists of an abrupt ridge 1500 feet high, containing a series of lakes, some of them celebrated for their delicious trout; and on the north and north-eastern limit is a sandstone ridge called Drimmashie or Drummossie moor, at the eastern end of which the battle of Culloden was fought. The scenery is generally uninteresting, though occasionally romantic; the mountains are either bare rock, or covered with coarse grass, and the lower grounds are to a considerable extent mossy tracts, shaded by sombre woods and plantations. The stream of the Nairn, however, introduces some variety, and, in its course to the town of Nairn, where it falls into the Moray Frith, after a course of thirty-six miles from its source at Cairn-Gregor, in the south-west part of Dunlichty, renders the aspect of the district in many places agreeable and interesting.
   The soil exhibits several varieties, being in some parts light and sandy, in others wet and spongy, with a clayey bottom; and frequently black mossy earth is seen, with different admixtures and modifications. The crops which succeed best are oats and barley; but since the recent improvements in husbandry by the leading proprietors, comprising draining, liming, inclosing, and the rotation system of cropping, wheat of good quality has been grown, and the agricultural character of the parish has attained a respectable footing. Many earthen embankments, also, have been raised along the river, as a security against floods, which have sometimes done much damage to the lands. The rocks consist chiefly of gneiss, in the hills bounding the valley; and large blocks of white granite, conglomerate, red and grey granite, and limestone are found, though the last has not been wrought. A bed of marl, which has been successfully used as manure, was lately discovered on the south bank of Loch Bunachton, about seven feet below the surface, and having a depth of from five to six feet. The old plantations are of common Scotch fir, with a few larches, and cover 1020 acres; there are others formed of Scotch fir, larch, ash, oak, and beech. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5288. The seats are, Daviot, a commodious modern structure; the house of Farr, which has lately received some elegant additions; and Aberarder, also a modern mansion. The road from Edinburgh to Inverness passes through the parish, and with the latter town the inhabitants carry on their chief traffic. The parish is in the presbytery of Inverness and synod of Moray, and in the patronage of the Crown and Earl Cawdor, alternately; the minister's stipend is £187, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10 per annum. There are two churches, about seven miles distant from each other, in which public worship is usually performed alternately. The church at Daviot is about four miles from the eastern, and that at Dunlichty twelve miles from the western, boundary; the former, with seats for 500 persons, was built in 1826, at a cost of nearly £1000; and the latter, containing seats for 300 persons, was built in 1759, and repaired in 1826. There are also an episcopal chapel, and a place of worship for members of the Free Church. A parochial school is situated in each of the districts, and affords instruction in the ordinary branches; the salary of each master is £25, with £11 and £9 fees, respectively. The poor receive the interest of £400, left by William Macgillivray in 1833. Near the mansion of Daviot, is the ruin of a seat which appears to have been originally of great strength; and there are in several places remains of Druidical temples.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • Inverness-shire — County of Inverness until circa 1890 Missing map County of Inverness circa 1890 to 1975 …   Wikipedia

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