FORRES, a royal burgh and parish, in the county of Elgin, 12 miles (W. by S.) from Elgin; containing 3711 inhabitants, of whom 2844 are in the burgh. This place, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, is descriptive of its situation on the river and bay of Findhorn, has by some historians been identified with the Varis of Ptolemy, and is celebrated for its ancient castle, in which Duffus, King of Scotland, was treacherously murdered by the governor, in 966. A battle is said to have taken place here about the commencement of the eleventh century, between a party of Danish invaders and Malcolm II.: it terminated in a treaty, in commemoration of which an obelisk was raised, called Sweno's Stone, elaborately sculptured with devices, and which is still remaining in a very perfect state. Not long afterwards, the forces of Duncan, King of Scotland, were encamped on a moor in the vicinity of the town; and on his way to meet that monarch, Macbeth, accompanied by Banquo, was met on an adjoining waste by the weird sisters, as described by Shakspeare in his tragedy of Macbeth.
   Burgh Seal
   The town, which is situated on a moderately elevated ridge, consists partly of one long street called the Highstreet, from which several smaller streets diverge on both sides; and is intersected throughout its whole length by the road from Elgin to Nairn. The streets are well paved, and lighted with gas; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. A public library is supported by subscription, and has a good collection of volumes; there is also a newsroom, well furnished with daily journals and periodical publications; and a newspaper called "The Forres Gazette," is published on the first Wednesday in every month. A masonic lodge has been for some time established, for which an elegant building has been erected from a design by Mr. Simpson, of Aberdeen, containing a handsome ball-room, a supper-room, and apartments for the meetings of the brethren. A horticultural society under the patronage of the Earl of Moray holds annual meetings in June and September, when exhibitions of flowers, fruits, and vegetables attract numbers of visiters from all parts. The environs abound with pleasingly-diversified scenery; and on the highest of the richly-wooded Cloven hills, near the eastern extremity of the town, a lofty octagonal tower of three stages, crowned with an embattled parapet, was erected in 1806, by public subscription, to the memory of Lord Nelson. No manufactures are carried on here, nor any trade except such as is necessary for the supply of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood: there are numerous handsome shops, amply supplied with merchandise of every kind. In the immediate vicinity are a brewery and a distillery; and in a powerful saw-mill for timber, great quantities of hexagonal blocks for wood-pavement have recently been prepared for the London market, and shipped from the port of Findhorn, about five miles distant from the town.
   The older records of the corporation are lost; but there is evidence of the inhabitants having obtained the privileges of a royal burgh by charter of William the Lion or Alexander II., which was renewed by James IV. The government, under this charter, is vested in a provost, three bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and eleven councillors, who are chosen under the provisions of the Municipal Reform act. There are no incorporated trades; and the necessity for becoming a member of the guildry, in order to qualify as a burgess, and for which the entrance fee had risen successively from £2. 10. to £13. 10., is no longer enforced. The magistrates exercise jurisdiction in civil causes to any amount, and in criminal matters for petty offences and breaches of the peace. The town-hall, erected in 1839, on the site of the ancient tolbooth, in the centre of the High-street, is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square tower, above which rises an octagonal turret, surmounted with a dome. The building contains a spacious hall for holding the courts, with apartments for the sheriff and justices, a council-chamber, a record room, offices for the town-clerk, and accommodations for the post-office. The old gaol, attached to the tolbooth, was removed on the erection of the present town-hall; and a small prison, containing two or three cells for the temporary confinement of criminals, has been recently built. The burgh is associated with the burghs of Fortrose, Inverness, and Nairn, in returning a member to the imperial parliament; the number of qualified voters is 156. The market, which is amply supplied with grain, is on Tuesday; and markets for butchers' meat and fish are held daily. Fairs for cattle and horses occur on the first Wednesdays in January and July, on the third Wednesdays in February, April, May, and November, on the fourth Wednesdays in August and September; and for hiring servants, on the Saturday before the 22nd of November. The post-office has a good delivery; and facility of communication is afforded by the high road from Elgin to Nairn; by a turnpike-road to the sea-port village of Findhorn, at the mouth of Findhorn bay, where the London and Leith steamers call regularly; by good district roads in various directions; and by an elegant chain-bridge over the river Findhorn, constructed at an expense of £7000, in 1831, to replace the former bridge of stone, which had been destroyed by a flood in 1829.
   The parish, which is bounded on the north by the bay of Findhorn, and on the west by the river of that name, is about four miles in length, and from one to three miles in breadth, comprising an area of 5200 acres, of which 3300 are arable, 1200 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moorland pasture and waste. The surface towards the north-west is a perfect plain, only a trifling height above the level of the sea; in the central portion, it is diversified with gentle acclivities, terminating in conical hills of moderate height; on the south-east, the land becomes more elevated. The river Findhorn has its source in the mountains of Inverness, and, after a course of considerable length, enters this parish, and flowing northward, falls into the bay of Findhorn: the only other stream is the burn of Forres, which rises in the adjoining parish of Rafford, and, running by the town, near which it receives a small tributary, also joins the bay. On the Findhorn is a lucrative salmon-fishery, belonging to the Messrs. Forbes, of Aberdeen, and valued at £500 per annum; it was greatly injured by the flood in 1829, but has lately very much improved. The soil along the margin of the bay and the banks of the river is a rich deep loam, with a slight admixture of clay; in the central parts of the parish, a light sand which, under good management, is richly fertile; and in the higher grounds, a retentive clay, alternated with sand and moss. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips; and considerable portions of the land are cultivated as gardens, in which flowers and fruits of every kind are raised with great success. The system of husbandry is in a highly improved state, and some of the waste has been made to yield luxuriant crops of grain; the farm-houses are substantially built of stone, roofed with slate, and generally well arranged, and on most of the farms are threshing-mills, of which one is driven by steam. The cattle are not confined to any particular breed, nor are the sheep, and many of the farmers change their live stock annually: particular attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, for the produce of which there is a large demand. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8481. The plantations consist of oak, ash, elm, plane, and beech, interspersed with larch and Scotch fir, of which there are some fine specimens on the lands of various proprietors, particularly a stately avenue of ash-trees on the road to Forres from the west. The chief substrata are sandstone and limestone, the latter of which is quarried on the farm of Mundole, where kilns have been erected for burning it into manure. Sanquhar House is a handsome mansion situated on an eminence, about a mile to the south of the town, in a richly-wooded demesne enlivened by the windings of the burn of Forres: Invererne, a mile north of the town, is also a handsome modern residence, surrounded by thriving plantations. Forres House, a spacious mansion, is at present in the occupation of a tenant: Drumduan is an elegant villa to the east of Forres, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Forres, of which this place is the seat, and of the synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is £274, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, the Earl of Moray. The church, a plain structure, built in 1775, and repaired in 1839, is lighted with gas, and contains 1000 sittings. There are places of worship for the Free Church, United Secession, and Independents, and an episcopal chapel. The parochial and burgh schools, which are consolidated under the patronage of the corporation, and held in the buildings of Anderson's academy, are conducted by three masters, to whom collectively are paid salaries amounting to £120 per annum. The academy, for which a handsome building in the Grecian style of architecture was erected in the High-street, was founded in 1824, and endowed with property producing £130 per annum, by the late Jonathan Anderson, Esq., of Glasgow, for the education of children of the parishes of Forres, Rafford, and Kinloss. Of the ancient castle of Forres, which, after the murder of Duffus, was demolished, and subsequently rebuilt, only some slight vestiges are remaining on a hill to the west of the town. When it ceased to be a royal residence, the castle became the possession of the earls of Moray, from whom it passed, with the property attached, to the Dunbars, hereditary sheriffs of Moray, who resided in a building intended to form part of a new structure, and which is now, with the lands belonging to it, owned by Sir Lewis Grant. James Dick, Esq., who bequeathed £140,000, of which the proceeds are divided among the parochial schoolmasters of the counties of Elgin, Banff, and Aberdeen, was a native of the parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Forres — (Gaelic: Farrais ), is a town and former royal burgh situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 30 miles east of Inverness. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions [… …   Wikipedia

  • Forres — Koordinaten 57° 37′ N, 3° 37′ W …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Forres — Forres, Stadt in der schottischen Grafschaft Murray (Elgin), an der Findhornbucht; Wollspinnerei; 4000 Ew. Dabei ein mit seltsamen, noch unerklärten Figuren bedeckter Obelisk (Swenos Stone genannt), angeblich Denkmal eines Sieges des Königs… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Forres — (»Heldenstadt«), Stadt (royal burgh) in Elginshire (Schottland), 4 km oberhalb der Mündung des Findhorn, hat einen Hafen, ein kleines Museum, Markthalle, Wollgarnspinnerei und (1901) 4313 Einw. Dabei der sogen. Swenostein, ein 6 m hoher Obelisk… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Forres — Forres, Hafenstadt in der schott. Grafsch. Elgin, (1901) 4313 E …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Forres — Forres, schott. Stadt an der Findhornbai mit 3500 E., Wollenspinnerei …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Forres — 57° 36′ 00″ N 3° 37′ 00″ W / 57.6, 3.61673 Forres (moyen irlandais …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Forres — Original name in latin Forres Name in other language FSS, Farrais, Forres State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 57.61125 latitude 3.61078 altitude 23 Population 9134 Date 2011 03 03 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Forres — ▪ Scotland, United Kingdom       small royal burgh (town) in the council area and historic county of Moray, northeastern Scotland, 12 miles (19 km) west southwest of Elgin. The town s first royal charter was probably granted in 1150 by King David …   Universalium

  • FORRES —    (3), a royal burgh in Elginshire, on the Findhorn, 2 m. from the sea and 10 m. SW. of Elgin by railway; has ruins of a castle once a royal residence and a famous Stan in Stane, Sueno s Stone, 25 ft. high, placed in the year 900 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.