A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Kilmorack (anciently Kilmoricht, Kilmorok, and Kilmarak; Gael. Kil Morok or Moroc, ` the church of St Moroc'), a large parish with a hamlet of the same name in the extreme N of Inverness-shire. The hamlet lies about 3 miles WSW of the village and railway station of Beauly, under which it has a subpost office. The parish is bounded N by Ross-shire, NE by Urray, SE by Kirkhill, by Kiltarlity and Cominth, and by Urquhart and Glenmoriston, S by Urquhart and Glenmoriston, and by Ross-shire, and W by Ross-shire. Along the SE the boundary is mostly formed by the river Beauly; elsewhere the line follows the watershed round the head of Strathaffric, Glen Cannich, and Strathfarrer. Three furlongs to the NE of the main portion of the parish is a detached part measuring in a line NE from Muir of Ord station 23/8 miles and ½ mile wide. The greatest length, from NE to SW, is 36¼ miles, and its greatest breadth 13 miles. The land area is 142,909 acres, but of this only some 4000 acres are arable, the rest being under wood, rough hill pasture, moorland, or waste. The soil in the flat about Beauly is a strong heavy clay; elsewhere in the cultivated districts it is a light stony loam passing into sand and gravel. The underlying rocks are gneiss and Old Red sandstone, the latter of which is quarried. An effort was made many years ago at the lower end of Strathfarrer to work a vein of graphite in heavy spar traversing gneiss, but it was given up. The drainage of the upper portion of the parish is carried off by the Farrer, Cannich, and Affrick, which unite to form the river Beauly, and by it and the burns flowing into it the whole of the rainfall is carried off. The surface about Beauly is flat, but elsewhere it is rough and rugged, especially on the SW and W, where, along the borders of the county, it reaches a height of over 3000 feet at the line of heights mentioned in the article Inverness-shire. The parish is traversed by the main road from Inverness to Dingwall, which passes through Beauly, and from this there is a road along the left side of the Beauly towards Strathglass and the upper districts. The Inverness and Dingwall section of the Highland railway system passes for 1¾ mile through the NE corner of the parish, ½ W of Beauly, and again for 1¼ through the detached portion of the parish, quitting it in the extreme N at Muir of Ord station. The scenery of the upper portions of the parish is noted for its wild and picturesque beauty, and attracts to Beauly and thence to Strathaffric, Glen Cannich, Strathfarrer, and Strathglass a large number of summer visitors and tourists. Portions of it are referred to under the Dhruim, Erchless Castle, Aigas, the Glass, the Farrer, the Cannich, and the Affrick. The falls of Kilmorack are on the river Beauly, 2 miles SW of the village. They occur between Kilmorack hamlet on the N bank and the ruined church and burying-ground of Kiltarlity on the S bank of the river, and are remarkable not so much for their height as for their breadth and volume. For fully half a mile above the lower fall the river has cut a deep and narrow channel through Old Red sandstone conglomerate, and at the bottom of this it toils in a series of rapids alternating with sullen, deep brown pools full of mysterious eddies. At one place the opening is very narrow, and the water has a sheer fall- of some 15 feet, which is known as the upper fall. Immediately below this narrow rocky channel the banks suddenly expand into a wide semicircular basin, through which the river slowly glides till, at the lower edge, it falls over a series of low rocky shelves in miniature cascades, boiling and fretting upon the uneven bed as it rushes onward. The tops of the rocky banks of both sides are covered with birch and pine trees. The best points of view are from a summerhouse in the minister's garden ou the N bank and from the walk along the S bank within the policies of Beaufort Castle, to which a bridge immediately below the falls crosses. The chief seats are Erchless Castle, Fasnakyle, and Eilan Aigas, which are separately noticed, and the principal antiquities are some ancient stone circles and pillars, hill forts, Erchless Castle, and the ruins of Beauly Priory. Besides the hamlet of Kilmorack, the parish contains also the village of Beauly, of which mention is made as early as 1562, but the modern village seems to be on a different site. The parish, which is in the presbytery of Dingwall and the synod of Ross, is of some antiquity, as there was a ` vicar of Kihnorok in 1437. The lands of the Kirktown of ` Kilmoricht ' were in 1521 granted by Robert, Bishop of Ross, to Thomas Fraser of Lovat. The patron saint was St Moroc, Culdee abbot of Dunkeld, whose day was 8 Nov. The parish church, on the bank of the river Beauly close to the falls, was built in 1786, and repaired in 1835. It contains 630 sittings, and seems to occupy the site of an older church. The stipend is £281, 11s. 8d. with £8,6s. 8d. for communion elements, and a manse and glebe worth respectively £30 and £12 a year. At Guisachan there is a Royal Bounty Mission station. The Free church of Kilmorack is in Beauly, and there is also a Roman Catholic church, with 350 sittings, in Beauly. Beauly public, Cannich Bridge public, Teanassie public, Beauly Roman Catholic, and Marydale Roman Catholic schools, with accommodation for respectively 250, 60, 80, 90, and 68 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 144, 18, 55, 30, and 22, and grants of £119, 17s., £10, 8s., £53, 14s. 6d., £23, 12s., and £19, 5s. The principal landowners are Lord Lovat and Chisholm of Chisholm; one other proprietor holds an annual value of more than £500; another holds between £500 and £100; 4 hold between £100 and £50; and there are a number of smaller amount. Valuation (1860) £11,139, (1882) £20, 950, 10s. 7d. Pop. (1801) 2366, (1831) 2709, (1861) 2852, (1871) 2728, (1881) 2618, of whom 2024 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 83, 82, 72, 73, 1878-82.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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