Fortrose - Encyclopedia

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FORTROSE (Gaelic for t'rois, " the wood on the promontory"), a royal and police burgh, and seaport of the county of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 1179. It is situated on the south-eastern coast of the peninsula of the Black Isle, 8 m. due N.N.E. of Inverness, 264 m. by rail. It is the terminus of the Black Isle branch of the Highland railway; there is communication by steamer with Inverness and also with Fort George, 22 m. distant, by ferry from Chanonry Ness. Fortrose consists of the two towns of Rosemarkie and Chanonry, about m. apart, which were united into a free burgh by James II. in 1 455 and created a royal burgh in 1590. It is a place of considerable antiquity, a monastery having been established in the 6th century by St Moluag, a friend of Columba's, and St Peter's church built in the 8th century. In 1124 David I. instituted the bishopric of Ross, with its seat here, and the town acquired some fame for its school of theology and law. The cathedral is believed to have been founded in 1330 by the countess of Ross (her canopied tomb, against the chancel wall, still exists) and finished in 1485 by Abbot Fraser, whose previous residence at Melrose is said to account for the Perpendicular features of his portion of the work. It was Early Decorated in style, cruciform in plan, and built of red sandstone, but all that is left are the south aisles of the nave and the chancel, with the chapter-house, a two-storeyed structure, standing apart near the north-eastern corner. The cathedral and bishop's palace were destroyed by order of Cromwell, who used the stones for his great fort at Inverness. Another relic of the past survives in the bell of 1460. These ruins form the chief object of interest in the town, but other buildings include the academy and the Black Isle combination poorhouse. The town is an agricultural centre of some consequence, and the harbour is kept in repair. Rosemarkie, in the churchyard of which is an ancient Celtic cross, is much resorted to for sea-bathing, and there is a golf course in Chanonry Ness. The burgh belongs to the Inverness district group of parliamentary burghs.

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