- Cromarty: Postcode IV11
- Cromarty: 57.6804° N Longitude: -4.034° W
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Cromarty, This attractive little town stands at the tip of the BLACK ISLE which pushes its snout into the Moray Firth. As the millionaire Andrew Carnegie reported in 1902: 'Cromarty is a most picturesque resort and, approached from the sea, unsurpassed. It only requires to be better known to become very popular.' It is certainly better known nowadays and retains the same character that so attracted Carnegie. Its historical lineage goes back to the 6th century when a church, now covered by the sea, was founded by St Moluag, one of the Columban missionaries sent out from IONA to Christianize. The Highlands In the 8th century Cromarty was the assembly point for a large Pictish fleet of 150 ships preparing for a battle over a dispute to the Pictish throne. This armada was wrecked on Troup Head on the Banffshire coast.
The town became a royal burgh in 1685. Cromarty is divided into two parts; Fishertown retains its old character and layout, so much so that it has been described as a gem of Scottish vernacular architecture. During the 19th century the town had a flourishing fishing industry which has now all but become an echo in the memory of the older townsfolk.
The town was the birthplace of Hugh Miller (1802-56), a self-educated stonemason who rose to become a noted geologist, writer and theologian. His home, a 17th-century thatched cottage, is now a museum devoted to his life, work and times. It is situated at the corner of 'The Paye' and Church Street. The Old Gaelic Chapel, now roofless, was built to accommodate the religious needs of Gaelic-speaking Highlanders who went to Cromarty to work in the hemp factory in the 18th century. In the 16th-century parish church there is a memorial to Sir Thomas Urquhart (16II-60), an eccentric but brilliant Scottish scholar who translated Rabelais. He died as an exile on the Continent: in a fit of laughing, it is said, on hearing the news of the Restoration of Charles II to the throne.