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is excessively rude, and must be as
old as the lith centy. To this ch.
the queen and daughter of Robert
Bruce fled from Kildrummie Castle,
and from it the)' were taken by the
Earl of Ro^s and given up to Ed-
ward I. In 1429 the church was
burnt by the M'Xeills during the
prosecution of a feud with Mowat of
Freswick, who with some followers
had taken refuge here, and it was
never rebuilt.

In 1471 the new Church of St.
Duthus was founded in the centre
of the town. It is a fine specimen
of the Dec. style, with an E. window
of 5 lights, surmounted by a six-
foiled circle, supported by 2 trefoils.
At the W. end a heavy porch has
been erected in modern times, above



420



lioute 65. — Tain; Bonar Bridge ; Lairg. Sect. VII.



which is the figure of a bishop, pro-
bably St. Duthus himself. King
James V. made a pilgrimage to the
old chapel in 1527, at the instigation
of Cardinal Beaton, who wished to
get him ont of the way dming the
martjT-dom of Patrick Hamilton.
Beyond the ch. stands the Academy,
a school of some reputation. On the
S. side of the town is the modern
ch., which most people mistake for
the jail. It is a square battlemented
building, with, formidable towers in
front. On the opposite side of the
Firth may be seen the Cathedral of
Dornoch (Rte 65b).

Railway to Golspie, Thurso, and
Wick, and to Inverness, 44 m.

Distances — Dingwall, 25^ m. ;
Meikle Ferry, 2^ ; Bonar Bridge, 134 ;
Dornoch (by Ferry), 6 ; Fearn, 3 m.
The Ely. skirts the shore of Dor-
noch Firth, which is the estuary of
the Oykel, the Shin, and the Flete
rivers.

46.2 ™- Meikle Ferry Stat. At
this point, before the rail was made,
was a ferry by which the coach pas-
sengers crossed the Firth, so as to
save them going round by Bonar
Bridge. It is nearly 2 m. across,
though a mole on each side has
much reduced the distance. The
direct distance to Golsjiie this way
may be about 14m., while the circle
which the rly. makes increases the
distance to 36. The entrance to the
mouth of the Firth is much impeded
by a long sandbank called the ' ' Giz-
zing" or ^^ Gey sen Briggs," a term
evidently of Norse origin — and in
stormy weather the breaking of the
waves upon it may be heard at a
considerable distance. Above the
stat. is the house of Tarlogie (H. L.
Eoss, Esq.), on the other side of the
Firth, Skibo (E. C. Sutherland-
Walker, Esq.)



494 m. Eddcrton Stat. Near the
Cluirch, built 1793, are 2 sculptured
Scandinavian monuments.



571 m. Bonar Bridge Stat., situ-
ated on the borders of Eoss and
Sutherland, is named»from a bridge,
where the rly. leaves on the rt.,
spanning the estuary of the Dornoch
Firth, or Kyle of Sutherland, wdiich is
here contracted to a narrow channel.
It consists of an iron arch 150 ft. in
span, and two stone arches of 50 and
60 ft. respectively. It was built in 1812
at an expense of £14,000 by Telford,
and has repeatedly withstood, unin-
jured, the shocks of masses of ice
and timber which the winter storms
have driven against it. The Bridge
Inn is very poor, but there is a good
Inn at Ardgay, close to the stat.

Distances. — Tain, 13i m. ; Jleikle
Ferry, M ; Dornoch, 13^ ; Golspie,
21 ; Oykel Bridge, 20 ; Loch Shin, 12 ;
Loch Assynt, 38 ; Loch Inver, 52 ;
Ullapool, 38 m.

At Invercarron, where the rly.
crosses the Carron, Montrose's final
array on behalf of King Charles I.
was defeated 1650, and he himself
driven a fugitive into the wilds of
Assynt, where he was soon after cap-
tured. The river Oykel is crossed
on a lattice girder bridge.

60 m. Invershin Stat. Here the
Shin, a good and early salmon river,
is reached, as it flows into the Kyle
of Sutherland from Loch Shin.
There is an Inn at Inveran on the
opposite side. The line then follows
the river Shin up to

66 m. Lairg Stat, (omnibus), 1| m.
from the village, and Inn,* Suther-
land Arms, good ; situated near the
foot of Loch Shin, a tame and narrow
lake 24 m. long, but abounding in
trout. Observe the extensive and
enterprising agricultural operations
going on by the sides of the loch,
under the superintendence of the
Duke. Four roads meet near here,
making Lairg a place of importance
in Sutherlandshire communications.
The innkeeper furnishes cars, and
gigs and waggonettes, and boats on
Loch Shin for fishing, which is good



Sutherland. Eoute 65a. — Beauhj to Kintail, etc.



421



here. AcJiavy is a seat of Sir James
Mathieson, Bart., who owns much
land hereabout.

Mail-drags or waggonettes start
Mon., Wed., and Frid., to Loch Inver,
by Inchnadamtf (Rte. 67); to Scourie,
with a branch to Durness (Rte. 68),
returning the alternate days ; to
Tongue (Rte. 67).

Distances. — Bonar Bridge, 9 m. ;
Inveran, 6 ; Rosehall, 10 ; Golspie,
17 ; Altnaharra, 20 ; Tongue, 35 ;
Laxford Bridge, 37 ; Loch Inver, 46
m. ; Inchnadamff, 33 m.

From Lairg the rly. turns sharp
to the E., and surmounting a steep
rise attains to the head waters of
Strathflcct, which, wild and moory at
first, improves in appearance and
value as it descends to the E. coast.
The farm-houses are comfortable and
substantial buildings, and the cot-
tages weather-tight. The land, not
long since uncultivated moor, is now
fertile in corn crops, the result of
the most improved scientific hus-
bandry.

76 m. Eogart Stat. From this a
road runs northward to Strathbrora.

80 m. The M



Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)Handbook for travellers in Scotland → online text (page 65 of 73)