River Findhorn

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Findhorn, a river of Inverness, Nairn, and Elgin shires, rising in the southern extremity of Moy and Dalarossie parish, among the Monadhliath Mountains, 5¼ miles N by W of Laggan Bridge, and thence winding 62¼ miles north-eastward, till it falls into the Moray Firth at Findhorn village. In the first 7½ miles of its course it bears the name e of Abhainn Cro Chlach (stream of the stone fold '); and a 13th century charter alludes to it as the Earn, so that Findhorn is possibly a corruption of fionn-ear-an, ' wan east-flowing river,' the greater part of its basin being still known as Strathdearn. It is joined by the Eskin, Moy Burn, the Divie, Muckle Burn, and numerous mountain torrents; it expands, between Forres and Findhorn village, into a triangular tidal lagoon, 2 miles long and 23/8 wide, called Findhorn Bay or Harbour, and again contracts to 2½ furlongs at its mouth. Its scenery, alpine at first, then moderately mountainous, and finally lowland, exhibits almost every variety of picturesqueness, from the wildly grand to the softly beautiful, abounding in features of wood and rock, gorge and cliff, fertile valley and finely-contoured hill, and is not excelled, either in diversity of attraction or in aggregate richness, by the scenery of any equal length of stream in Scotland. From 2800 feet above sea-level at its mossy source, it descends to 1627 at the Eskin's confluence, 950 at Findhorn Bridge, 580 at the Bridge of Dulsie, and 280 near Relugas House; and thus its current is impetuous in the upper, swift in the middle, and broad and placid in the lower reaches. Its volume varies greatly in time of drought and in time of heavy rain; and it is subject to such strong, sudden freshets as sometimes to roll down a wall-like wave of water with irresistible and destructive force along the narrow or contracted parts of its bed, and to overflow its banks and make a lake of all the lowland portions of its valley. In the Plain of Forres, over 20 square miles were so inundated by it in the memorable floods of Aug. 1829, that a large boat, in full sail, swept along its basin to within a few yards of the town. The Find horn is still a fine salmon and trout river, though not what it was half a century since, when in a single day 360 salmon were taken from one pool. It traverses or bounds the parishes of Moy and Dalarossie, Cawdor, Ardclach, Edinkillie, Forres, Dyke and Moy, and Kinloss; and in our articles on these, its various features of bridge, mansion, village, and town are noticed.—Ord. Sur., shs. 73, 74, 84, 94, 1876-78. See chaps. ii. -x. of Sir Thomas Dick Lauder's Moray Floods (Elgin, 1830; 3d ed. 1873).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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