Applecross

   APPLECROSS, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 18 miles (W.) from Lochcarron; containing, with the island of Crolin, and part of Shieldag, quoad sacra, 2861 inhabitants. This parish was originally called Comaraich, a Gaelic word signifying safety or protection, on account of the refuge afforded to the oppressed and to criminals, by a religious establishment that existed here in ancient times. The present name, which is of comparatively modern date, was given to the place by the proprietor of the estate, upon its erection into a parish, at which time five apple-trees were planted cross-ways in his garden. The parish, which formed part of that of Lochcarron till 1726, stretches along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, and is distributed into the three large portions or districts of Applecross, properly so called; Lochs, consisting of Torridon, Shieldag, &c.; and Kishorn. It is of irregular form, 20 miles long, and as many in breadth, and contains about 1800 acres cultivated, or occasionally in tillage, about 400 under wood, and 400 or 500 waste, besides an immense tract of pasture in a natural state. The surface, in its general appearance, is hilly and rugged, consisting of rocky elevations covered with heather and wild grass; the climate, though not unhealthy, is foggy, and very rainy. The soil is light and gravelly, and produces good crops of oats, barley, and potatoes; the two former are grown to the amount, in value, of £3000 annually, and potatoes and turnips yield about £1500; the farms are of small extent, averaging in rent not more than £6 or £7 each. The inclosures are very few, and though some advances have been made in the draining and improving of land, the agricultural state is low, the parish being compelled frequently to import grain and potatoes for home consumption. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2488. The rocks consist of red sandstone, gneiss, and quartz; at Applecross and Kishorn are found large quantities of limestone, and at the latter place is also a copper-mine, which, when worked some time since, produced a fine rich ore. The only mansion of note is on the estate of Applecross, and is a large ancient building, with some elegant modern additions, and surrounded by about 30 acres of thriving plantation.
   At Poldown, Shieldag, and Torridon are convenient harbours, to which belong about twenty-one vessels of from 20 to 50 tons' burthen each, employed in the fishing and coasting trade: most of the population are in some way engaged in the herring-fishery, which in certain seasons is very profitable, and at Torridon and Balgie are salmon-fisheries that let at £15 or £16. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Lochcarron and synod of Glenelg; the Crown is patron; the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 5., partly paid from the exchequer, and there is a manse, built in 1796, with a glebe valued at £12 per annum. The parochial church, which was erected in 1817, is in good repair, and accommodates 600 persons; and at Shieldag, twelve miles distant, is a government church, built in 1827. There is a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £27, with about £8 fees, and teaches the classics, mathematics, Gaelic, and the ordinary branches of education; and four other schools are supported by societies for promoting education. Many fossils have been found, but their nature has not been satisfactorily ascertained.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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