FORRES

"FORRES, a parish and royal burgh, post and market town, county Elgin, Scotland, 11 miles W. of Elgin, and 123 from Edinburgh. It is a station on the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction railway, and the Junction of Inver-ness and Perth railway, directly communicating with this town. The parish is bounded by the river Findhorn and the parishes of Kinloss, Edenkillie, Rafford, and Dyke. It is 4 miles long by 21 wide. The road from Aberdeen to Inverness traverses the interior. This parish gives name to a presbytery in the synod of Moray. The minister has a stipend of twenty chalders. The church stands in the town, and is a plain building erected in 1775. Here are a Free church, United Presbyterian church, Episcopal, and Evangelical Union chapels, also a burgh school, ladies' hoarding school, several private day schools, and Anderson's Institution, endowed with funds left by the late Jonathan Anderson of Glasgow. The principal seats are Drumduan, Invererne House, Sanquhar House, and Forres House. The borough is situated near the Moray Firth, about 3 miles from the seacoast, on the Forres burn, which is thrice crossed by neat bridges. The High-street is about 800 yards long, and consists of tolerably well-built houses. The town is lighted with gas, and well supplied with water. It contains a savings-bank, four branch banks, several insurance agencies, building societies, mechanics' institution, library, newsroom, friendly, teetotal, and religious societies. The funded charities amount to £5,708. The Forres Gazette is published every Wednesday. The townhouse was erected in 1839, and contains courthouse, town clerk's department, and record room, &c. The trade of Forres is of a general character. There is a flourishing manufacture of woollen cloth, and the North of Scotland Chemical Works,' for the manufacture of sulphuric acid; artificial manure works, &c. This borough unites with Inverness, Nairn, and Fortrose in pageing one member to parliament, and is governed by a provost and 16 councillors. Forres was the Roman Yarns, or Varę, and the earliest reference we find to it as a royal burgh is made in the time of William the Lion. Some new privileges were granted to the town during the reign of James IV. In 1607 the old charter of Robert I. was confirmed, which exempted Forres from the claim of the Earl of Moray, though within the earldom. Forres appears to have been the most ancient of all the northern burghs. It is mentioned as early as the year 535 as a town having merchants. It seems to have been a favourite resort of royalty in past age's. Malcolm I., who was assassinated in Blervie Castle, near Forres, in 959, often visited the neighbourhood, and King Duffus was murdered in Forres Castle in 966. Near this town is the blasted heath, or "Hard Moor," marked by a clump of trees, where the weird sisters are said to have met Macbeth and Banque. Upon one of the Clunie hills, at Forres, which are laid out as public walks for the townsfolk, stands a lofty tower to the memory of Nelson. On the slope of one of these hills, on an admirable site, with a southern aspect and extensive range of view, stands the Forres Hydropathic Establishment, erected here in 1864, at a cost of between £7,000 and £8,000. The scenery near the town is unrivalled in Scotland for the truly picturesque, particularly on the banks of the Findhorn. A little beyond the eastern limits of the town is the famous Forres Pillar, called Sweno's Stone, one of the most remarkable objects of antiquity in the country. It is about 20 feet high, and is covered with curious carvings of the figures of warriors and other objects. Its history is unknown, but it is supposed to commemorate a convention concluded, A.D. 1014, between Malcolm II. and Sweno the Dane, by which the latter engaged to evacuate the country, and to abstain from future invasion. The "Witches' Stane" stands on the roadside on the eastern outskirts; under it is interred one of the witches who was burned for witching King Duffus. Tuesday is the weekly market day. Cattle markets are held monthly on Tuesdays, viz: January, on Tuesday before third Wednesday; February, Tuesday before third Wednesday; March, Tuesday before third Wednesday; April, Tuesday before third Wednesday; May, Tuesday before second Wednesday; June, second Tuesday; July, first Tuesday; August, first Tuesday; September, fourth Tuesday; October, fourth Tuesday; November, Tuesday before third Wednesday; December, second Tuesday."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003

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