Parish of Rosskeen

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.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Links to the Historical Statistical Accounts of Scotland are also available:
(Click on the link to the right, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Browse scanned pages")

1791-99: Rosskeen
1834-45: Rosskeen

Rosskeen (Gael. ros-ceann, `promontory of the head'), a coast parish of NE Ross-shire, containing the seaport and station of Invergordon, 12 ¾ miles NE of Dingwall and 12 ¾ SSW of Tain. It also contains the Bridgend portion and the station of Alness village, 2 ¾ miles W by N of Invergordon. Washed on the SE for 5 3/8 miles by the Cromarty Firth, it is bounded by Kincardine around its north-western extremity, and along its north-eastern side by Edderton and Kilmuir-Easter, along its south-western side by Alness. Its utmost length, from NW to SE, is 17 3/8 miles; its breadth varies between 1 ½ and 6 5/8 miles; and its area is 55 ¼ square miles or 34, 384 ¾ acres, of which 501 7/8 are foreshore, 152 3/5 water, and 5 tidal water. From a point 3 3/8 miles below its efflux from Loch Morie, the river Alness flows 8 1/8 miles south-south-eastward to the Cromarty Firth along the Alness boundary; and at that point, 495 feet above sea-level, it is joined by the Black Water, which, rising at an altitude of 1700 feet, runs 9 ¼ miles south-eastward down Strath Rusdale through the north-western interior. Lochan Chairn (3 1/3 x 1 2/3 furl.; 1329 feet) and Loch Chuinneag (2 ¾ x 1 1/3 furl.; 1680 feet), in the north-western extremity of the parish, near the source of the Black Water, send off their superfluence north-north-westward to the river Carron; and the Strathrory or Balnagowan river, rising on Beinn Tharsuinn at an altitude of 1980 feet, runs 4 1/8 miles south-eastward through Rosskeen till it passes off into Kilmuir-Easter. Loch Achnadoich (2 x 1 furl.; 395 feet), 4 ½ miles N by E of Alness village, is a beautiful little lake. The shore is low; and S of the highroad the surface nowhere exceeds 72 feet above sea-level. Beyond, it rises to 700 feet at Cnoc Navie, 1301 at *Cnoc Corr Guinig, 1000 at Cnoc Strathy, 2158 at Cnoc an t-Sithein Mor, 2259 at Beinn Tharsuinn, 1978 at *Carn nan Gabhar, 1744 at *Meall Bhenneit, and 2114 at Carn an Lochan, where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. Old Red Sandstone, the prevailing rock of the lowlands of the parish, has been quarried for building purposes. The soil of the coast district is partly gravelly and light, partly loam, and partly a deep strong clay; in the middle district, or higher arable land, it was formerly light and spongy, but has been worked into a rich deep loam. Little more than oneninth of the entire area is in tillage; about one-twelfth is under wood, the middle district being finely wooded; and nearly all the remainder is pastoral or waste. A standing-stone near the church and a number of cairns are the chief antiquities. William Macintosh (17381809), the Eastern traveller, was born at Newmore, as also was George, his younger brother, who introduced Turkey-red dyeing to Scotland, and whose son, Charles, F.R.S. (1766-1843), invented `macintosh' waterproofs. Mansions, noticed separately, are Ardross Castle, Invergordon Castle, and Newmore; and of 4 proprietors, 2 hold each an annual value of more than £3350. Rosskeen is in the presbytery of Tain and the synod of Ross; the living is worth £385. The churches, Established and Free, are described under Invergordon. Five public schools - Ardross, Bridgend, Invergordon, Newmore, and Saltburn - with respective accommodation for 111, 205, 205, 107, and 90 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 60, ", 165, 58, and 42, and grants of £41, 13s. 4d., £ ', £138, £38, 10s., and £26, 14s. 2d. Valuation (1860) £10,171, (1885) £15,353, 6s. 11d. plus £1754 for railway. Pop. (1801) 2074, (1831) 2916, (1861) 3766, (1871) 3808, (1881) 3773, of whom 1119 were in Invergordon and 718 in Bridgend, whilst 1272 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 94, 93, 1878-81.

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

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better