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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Beauly (French Beaulieu, ` beautiful place '), a village in Kilmorack parish, Inverness-shire, with a station on the Highland railway, 10 miles W of Inverness. A burgh of barony, a sub-port, and a great tourists' centre, it stands on the left bank of the Beauly river, a little above its mouth; presents a well-built, clean, and pleasant appearance; and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland and the Commercial Bank. gas-works, 3 hotels, a Roman Catholic church (1864; 350 sittings), and the ruined priory of St John Baptist. This latter was founded in 1232 by Sir John Bisset of Lovat, for seven French monks of the congregation of Vallis Caulium or Val de Choux, a suborder of the Cistercians, who followed the rule of St Benedict; its aisleless church, 136 by 21 feet, is mostly Early Second Pointed, and may date from about the first decade of the 14th century. The last prior granted its lands in 1558 to the sixth Lord Lovat; but, forfeited by Alex. MacKenzie of Fraserdale in 1716, they are now Crown property (E. C. Batten's -Beauly Priory, Grampian Club, 1877). Fairs are held either in the village or on the neighbouring Moor of Ord on the third Thursday of January and February, the third Wednesday and Thursday of March and April, the second Wednesday and Thursday of May, the third Wednesday and Thursday of June and July, the Wednesday and Thursday of August, September, and October before Falkirk, the Wednesday and Thursday of November before Edinburgh Hallow fair, and the Thursday after the third Wednesday of December. The village has a safe and convenient small harbour, and carries on a considerable trade in grain, timber, coal, lime, and other commodities. A sheriff small debt court is held in January, May, and September. A bridge of 5 arches, built in 1810, with a water-way of 240 feet, spans the river on the line of the longest road to Inverness; and a ferry for foot-passengers is on the line of the shortest road, but does not serve for horses or carriages. The Established and Free churches of Kilmorack, though not within the village, are at convenient distances. A public and a Roman Catholic school, with respective accommodation for 250 and 90 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 170 and 24, and grants of £114,10s. and £17,17s. Pop. (1861) 917, (1871) 855.

The river Beauly is formed by the confluence of the Glass and the Farrer at Erchless Castle; it runs, in a winding course of about 10 miles, north-eastward to the head of Beauly Firth; it has frequent narrowings and windings; it makes, at Kilmorack Church, remarkable falls amid splendid scenery; and it abounds, below the falls, with salmon, grilses, and sea-trout. The salmon fishings, belonging to Lord Lovat and The Chisholm, are splendid, the late Lord Lovat in 1864 killing 146 salmon to his own rod in five days. The valley of the Beauly, in common with that of the Glass, bears the name of the Strathglass. The Firth of Beauly (Ptolemy's Varar & Aestuarinm) is the upper basin or inner division of the Moray Firth; and is separated from the lower basin by a contraction about ¾ mile wide at Kessock Ferry in the northern vicinity of Inverness. Its length is about 7 miles; its greatest breadth is about 2 miles, and its shores are low and well cultivated. The Caledonian Canal enters it at Clachnaharry, a little W of Inverness.

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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