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"NAIRN, a parish, containing a royal burgh and post-town of its own name, also the village of Seatown-of-Delnies, on the coast of Nairnshire. It is bounded on the north by the Moray firth, and on other sides by the parishes of Auldearn, Calder, and Ardersier. It expands toward the ends, and greatly contracts in the middle, so as to have proximately the outline of an hour-glass. Its greatest length from north to south is upwards of 8 miles; its greatest breadth is 6 miles."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"NAIRN, a post-town, a seaport, a market-town, and a royal burgh, stands in the parish of Nairn, on the left bank of the river Nairn, immediately above that river's embouchure ... The town was long noted for standing so exactly on the boundary-line between the Highlands and the Lowlands, and being so completely bisected by the mutual repulsion of the Moray men on the east and the kilted Gael on the west, that the Lowland Scottish dialect was spoken at the one end of the street, and the Gaelic language at the other."

From the Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson, 1868.


The following books contain useful information about the history of Nairn and the surrounding area.

"A glimpse of old Nairn" by Charles Sellar, published at Inverness, 1969.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Nairn area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church Records

The parish church (Established Church of Scotland) has records dating from 1705.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Nairn which are provided by:


The transcription of the section for Nairn from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

The transcription of the section for Nairn from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1896).

A further transcription of the section for Nairn from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Nairn has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

"NAIRNSHIRE, a small county in the N of Scotland, on the S shore of the Moray Firth. It is bounded N by that arm of the sea, E by Elginshire, and S and W by Inverness-shire. The Boundary Commissioners in 1891 effected a considerable readjustment of the boundaries Nairnshire in connection with the neighbouring counties of Elgin, Inverness, and Ross and Cromarty, with the result that the county contains now but five parishes, one of these-Croy and Dalcross-being, however, still left partly in Inverness-shire. Of the parishes partly in Nairnshire and partly in Elginshire, Dyke and Moy has been placed wholly in the county of Elgin; and the two detached parts of the Nairnshire parish of Ardclach have also been transferred to Elginshire, to the parish of Edinkillie. Of those partly in Nairnshire and partly in Inverness-shire, Cawdor has been placed wholly in the former county, and Davity and Dunlichity wholly in the latter; while Moy and Dallarossie has been restricted to its Inverness-shire portion, the Nairnshire portion having been transferred to Cawdor. By the latter transfer no change has been made on the boundary. The parish of Croy and Dalcross, too, except a detached part in Inverness-shire which was transferred to the parish of Inverness, was redivided between the two counties in such a way as to avoid the inconveniences caused by the former boundary, with the result of leaving the parish pretty equally divided between them. As regards the county of Ross and Cromarty, a large part of the parish of Urquhart and Logie-Wester formed a detached portion of Nairnshire. This portion consisted simply of the barony of Ferintosh, and had been for many years treated as part of Ross and Cromarty for most county purposes. The Commissioners completed the transfer by disjoining it from Nairnshire and annexing it to Ross and Cromarty. These detached portions of Nairnshire had been included in the county since 1476, when William, Thane of Cawdor, had influence enough to have all his lands in the neighbouring counties included in the county of Nairn, where the main body of his estates lay. Ferintosh is the Gaelic Fearn-tosh, 'The Toishach's or Thane's land'."

Description(s) from Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1896)


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NH882564 (Lat/Lon: 57.583837, -3.871532), Nairn which are provided by:
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