Tain, was once an important port on the south shore of the Dornoch Firth, but progressive silting prevented development and the town had to rely on other means to maintain its existence. Its name apparently derives from the Old Norse thing, meaning 'council' or 'meeting place'.
Its significance for the Norsemen continued to the 12th century, when the St Duthus Chapel, dedicated to the celebrated Celtic saint associated with this town, was built; it is now an ivy-covered ruin. Its sister building, St Duthus Church, built in the 1360 it was an important place of pilgrimage in medieval times.
Jarnes IV of Scots came here annually over a period of 20 years in atonement for his part in the death of his father.
The church contains some stained-glass windows portraying a number of scenes from Scottish history. In the centre of the town is a 16th-century tollbooth, with a conical spire and small angle turrets. Among the town's industries are a cheesery, making Highland cheeses based on old recipes, and a distillery producing an excellent and widely favoured single malt whisky of some distinction.
- Tain Geolocation Latitude 57.81135° N Longitude -4.05325° E
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Tain Ross and Cromarty.
This ancient royal burgh standing on the shores of the Dornoch Firth has always been closely associated with St Duthac, who was born here about. After his death in Ireland his relics were returned to Tain, which became a place of sanctuary and pilgrimage. It was in this shrine that the wife, sisters, and daughter of Robert Bruce were captured by the traitorous Earl of Ross, who delivered them to the English.
The shirt of St Duthac was reputed to possess magical properties. but these seem to have disappeared by the time it was worn by Hugh, Earl of Ross, at the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, when he was fatally wounded.
King James lV regularly visited Tain on pilgrimage, and for that reason the road leading to the south is still called King's Causeway.
The town Collegiate Church was built in 1371, and its tolbooth in the 17th centuary but this last was restored in 1730 after suffering gale damage. It houses a curfew bell, which can still be heard. lt was cast in 1630 by Michael Burgerhuys a Flemish master founder.
Tain is the trading centre of a prosperous agricultural district. as well as a holiday resort, from it there are lovely views of Caithness and Sutherland to the north while golf and sea and fresh-water angling and bathing may all be enjoyed in its neighbourhood.
A large expanse of sandy links known as Morrich More to the north east of the town on the shore of the Dornoch Firth has recently been used as a bombing range by the Royal Air Force.