Forres Visitor Information Guide
- Forres Postcode IV36
- Forres Latitude 57.6098° N Longitude -3.6200° W
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Forres is a small burgh of great antiquity standing to the right of the river Findhorn near where it enters Findhorn Bay, and justifiably prides itself on its sheltered situation and its reputation for healthy invigorating air.
King Duncan held court at Forres, and it was on their way there that Macbeth and Banquo met on the ‘blasted heath‘ the ‘weird sisters’ three of the witches for whom Forres was notorious. This tradition has of course, been used by Shakespeare in Macbeth. The place where this meeting is believed to have occurred is near the boundary with Nairn and is called Hardmain or ‘Macbeth’s Hill’, It is now no longer ‘blasted’ but cultivated and wooded.
On an elevated platform at the west end of the High Street once stood the long-vanished castle, lts site is marked by a tall granite obelisk erected in 1857 in memory of Dr Thomson, who died in the Crimean War through his heroic efforts to help the wounded. The Falconer Museum (1870) in the High Street has an interesting collection of fossils.
Forres House is now the largest Community Centre in the North of Scotland. To the south east of the town is Cluny Hill, the highest summit, crowned by an octagonal 70 ft tower erected in 1806 as a monument to Lord Nelson. There is a magnificent view from the top, which is reached by a spiral stair. The Cluny Hills Hydropathie Establishment on the south side was one of the oldest in Scotland: it has been replaced by a hotel overlooking the ﬁne municipal golf course. While visiting Forres you have the option of most types of holiday accommodation including Hotels, Guest Houses, B&B and self catering so you can enjoy all that Forres has to offer.
The importance of Forres declined after the foundation of the Bishopric at the Diocese of Elgin Various writers have claimed that Forres was a Roman station and was the mysterious Vuris mentioned by Ptolemy.
At the east end of the town is the famous Sueno’s Stone, 23 ft high and an Ancient Monument, one of the most remarkable early sculptured works in Scotland, made from sandstone, it has a tall cross on one side. accompanied by elaborate figure sculptures at the base; on the other side are carved groups of figures of warriors. Possibly it commemorates a victory of Sweyn, son of Harald, over Malcolm 11 in l008, in l8l3 eight human skeletons were found near the pillar. Nearby to the east is the granite Witches Stone, the remaining one of three stones traditionally marking the place where three witches, accused of plotting the death of King Duffus, were put to death.
The story is that the witches were found melting a wax image of the King. They were each placed in a barrel on top of Cluny Hill and set rolling. Where they stopped the barrels with the witches inside were burned, and
the stones set up. The one that remains was at one time broken up for building, but was replaced and held together with iron bands.
The scenery on the river Findhorn to the south of Forres is of exceptional beauty. The Grantown road is followed to Sluie. From here walkers can go along the river gorge, eventually passing Logie House.
The road is rejoined near Relugas House. Shortly farther on, a path leads to the famous Randolph’s Leap, with striking views on all sides.
The road continues back on the west side of the river Findhorn through the Darnaway Forest, which surrounds Darnaway Castle, an imposing east-elated structure built in 1810, with the l5th century Earl Randolph's Hall incorporated at the rear.
This is a banqueting hall, 90 ft by 35 ft with an arched oaken roof, Mary Queen of Scots held court here in l564. It was often visited by James IV, who gave it to his mistress, Lady Janet Kennedy, It is the seat of the earls of Moray.