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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Applecross, a hamlet and a parish on the W coast of Ross-shire. The hamlet lies at the head of a small bay of its own name, opposite the central parts of Skye, 24 miles W by N of Strathcarron station on the Dingwall and Skye railway, and 14 by water NE by E of Broadford. It has a post office under Lochcarron, a stone jetty, and a good inn. The name is commonly referred either to an 18th century proprietor's having planted five apple-trees crosswise in his garden, or to a monkish tradition that apples grown here bore the sign of the cross; but Applecross is really a corruption of the ancient Aporcrosan or Abercrossan, the most northerly of all the Scottish abers. The church of Aporcrosan was founded in 673 by St Maelrubha, who, coming over from the Irish monastery of Bangor, made this his centre for the evangelisation of all the western districts between Lochs Carron and Broom (Skene, Celt. Scot., ii. 169 and 411,412). A relic, probably, of this Columban monastery is an upright slab in the churchyard, bearing the figure of a collared cross- The reach of sea before the hamlet, separating Raasay and Rona islands from the mainland, is known as Applecross Sound. A stream, some 10 miles long, flows south-south-westward from high mountains to Applecross Bay at the hamlet, is very impetuous in its upper reaches, but becomes quiet lower down, and abounds with salmon and trout. Applecross House, a seat of Lord Middleton's, stands near the hamlet, is a fine old château, and has a garden where fuchsias, geraniums, and similar plants flourish out of doors all the year round, and a park with magnificent trees. The mainland approach to the hamlet is from Jeantown; and the road thence goes through a picturesque defile to Courthill, at the head of the northern horn of Loch Carron, and then ascends, by zigzag traverses, a steep mountain corrie to the height of 1500 feet, overhung-by stupendons precipices, and commanding a view wellnigh as savage and sublime as that of Glencoe.

The parish, which, prior to 1726, formed part of Lochcarron parish, comprises all the country between Lochs Carron and Torridon, and from N to S has an extreme length of 16½ miles. The coast-line is very irregular- not more than 45 miles in direct measurement, but fully 90 if one follows the bends and windings of every loch and bay. The shores are in some places high and rocky, in others low and sandy, but almost everywhere monotonous. The interior mainly consists of hills and mountains, either altogether bare, or covered only with heath and coarse grass; among them are Beinn Garavegult (1602 feet), Beinn Clachan (2028), and Beinn Bhein (2397). Valleys there are both beautiful and fertile; but hardly 2000 acres are under cultivation, and they have generally a soil neither deep nor loamy, but rather shallow, and either sandy or gravelly. Two other rivulets besides the Applecross stream, and likewise several lochs (the largest, Lundie), contain trout and other fish; the sea-waters, too, abound in molluscs, are occasionally frequented by shoals of herring, and yield considerable quantities of cod, ling, flounders, etc. The shootings are extremely valuable, Lord Middleton's deer-forest alone being rented at £3500. In 1875 the rainfall was 47.89, and rain fell on 216 days throughout that year. Red and purple sandstones and conglomerates of Cambrian age are the prevailing rocks, to which the scenery owes its peculiar character; and copper has been worked at Kishorn. Part of the civil parish is included in the quoad sacra parish of Shieldaig; the remainder forms another quoad sacra parish in the presbytery of Lochcarron and synod of Glenelg, its minister's income amounting to £193. The parish church, built in 1817, contains 600 sittings; and there is also a Free church. Seven public schools are those of Aligin, Applecross, Arinacrinachd, Callakille, Kishorn, Shieldaig, and Torridon. With total accommodation for 430 children, these had (1879) an average attendance of 178, and grants of £191, 19s. 3d. Valuation (1881) £4414, 17s. 2d. Pop., mostly Gaelic-speaking, of civil parish (1801) 1896, (1831) 2892, (l861) 2544, (1871) 2470; of quoad sacra parish (1861) 1o64, (1871) 1129, (1881) 955.

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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