View over Dingwall towards the Cromarty Firth
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

View over Dingwall towards the Cromarty Firth

A burgh town in Easter Ross, Highland Council Area, Dingwall lies at the head of the Cromarty Firth, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Inverness. Its name is derived from the Scandinavian for 'parliament in the valley'. An important market centre, Dingwall gained royal burgh status in 1226 and was the seat of the Sheriffdom of Ross from 1265. The former county town of Ross and Cromarty, it was from 1975 to 1996 the administrative centre of the Ross and Cromarty district of Highland Region. The mediaeval Tulloch Castle, a stronghold of the Clan Ross, was replaced by a mansion and the town's harbour eventually silted up. Linen spinning arrived in the 18th century and 100 years later Dingwall prospered as a road and railway junction with livestock markets. North Sea oil related development in the 1970s boosted the population which expanded by 5,000 within a decade. Dingwall has a museum and hosts a Highland Traditional Music Festival in the summer in addition to a Highland Games. Buildings of note include an 18th-century Town House and St Clement's Church (1801). Foulis Castle, seat of the Chiefs of the Clan Munro lies to the northeast.

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