Dingwall - Encyclopedia




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DINGWALL, a royal and police burgh and county town of the shire of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 2519. It is situated near the head of Cromarty Firth where the valley of the Peffery unites with the alluvial lands at the mouth of the Conon, 182 m. N.W. of Inverness by the Highland railway. Its name, derived from the Scandinavian Thingvollr, " field or meetingplace of the thing," or local assembly, preserves the Norse origin of the town; its Gaelic designation is Inverpefferon,"the mouth of the Peffery." The 18th-century town house, and some remains of the ancient mansion of the once powerful earls of Ross still exist. There is also a public park. An obelisk, 57 ft. high, was erected over the grave of the 1st earl of Cromarty. The town belongs to the Wick district group of parliamentary burghs. It is a flourishing distributing centre and has an important corn market and auction marts. Some shipping is carried on at the harbour at the mouth of the Peffery, about a mile below the burgh. Branch lines of the Highland railway run to Strathpeffer and to Strome Ferry and Kyle of Lochalsh (for Skye). Alexander II. created Dingwall:a royal borough in 1226, and its charter was renewed by James IV. On the top of Knockfarrel (Gaelic, cnoc, hill; faire, watch, or guard), a hill about 3 m. to the west, is a large and very complete vitrified fort with ramparts.

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