©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland


Situated amidst rich and fertile farm land of NE Inverness-shire, Highland Council Area, Beauly lies 10 miles (18 km) west of Inverness. With wooded hills as a backdrop and the mouth of the Beauly River opening out into an estuary, Beauly is well named. In 1230 John Bisset established here a priory for the French order of Valliscaulian monks. It was these monks who allegedly named the place 'Beau Lieu' or 'beautiful place'. Remains of the priory survive and 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Beauly stands Beaufort Castle, the former seat of the Frasers of Lovat. About 1760 the Forfeited Estates Commission laid out a new village to house demobilised soldiers. The settlement attracted those cleared from the Highland estates and became a market centre for cattle and sheep as well as an outlet for timber. In 1811 Telford's Lovat Bridge across the Beauly River provided access to the far north of Scotland and in 1862 the railway arrived. Beauly Railway Station closed in 1960, but reopened in 2002 and now claims to have the shortest platform in Britain at 15m (50 feet) in length. Today, Beauly is a centre for tourism and craft-based industries.

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