Town Seal of the Burgh of Forres
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Town Seal of the Burgh of Forres

An ancient royal burgh and agricultural market town in NW Moray, situated on a ridge overlooking the River Findhorn midway between Elgin and Nairn. Situated in a strategic position on the route from Aberdeen to Inverness, Findhorn's western approaches were once defended by a royal castle.

Retaining much of its mediaeval layout and now by-passed, notable buildings include the Tolbooth, rebuilt by William Robertson in 1838; the Gothic St. Laurence Church built in 1904 to a design by John Robertson; The Mechanics Institute (1823); Nelson's Tower, an octagonal tower built in 1806 in memory of Lord Nelson to a design by Charles Stewart; Forres Academy, built in the 1960s to a design by Reiach and Hall; and Falconer Museum (1869), built from a bequest by Alexander and Hugh Falconer to house a large collection of fossils.

In 2019, Forres became the headquarters, launch control centre and rocket design facility for the space-flight company Orbex, which intends to launch micro-satellites from a proposed spaceport in Sutherland.

Born in Forres were railway engineer Joseph Mitchell (1803-83), Donald Alexander Smith, Lord Strathcona (1820 - 1914), who made his fortune in Canada and Sir Alexander Grant (1864 - 1937), who first produced the digestive biscuit.

To the east of Forres is Sueno's Stone, a cross slab that possibly dates from the 9th Century and may commemorate a victory of the Picts over the Danes. To the south is the Dallas Dhu Distillery.

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