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Canisbay

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"CANISBAY, (or Canute's Bay), a parish in the county of Caithness, Scotland. It is situated in a heathy district on the coast of the Pentland Firth, and includes the neighbouring island of Stroma. Duncansby Head and John o'Groat's house are at the north-eastern extremity of this parish. The coast is rocky, and limestone is abundant. The inhabitants are engaged in agriculture and the fisheries. The living, worth £206, is in the presbytery of Caithness, in the gift of the Sinclairs. There is a Free church, and the Independents have a place of worship at Freswick, and the Baptists one at the Mull of Mey. In this parish are Barrogill and Brabster castles-the former the seat of the Earl of Caithness. There are several ruins of forts and chapels. The parish extends about 10 miles in length and 5 in breadth."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)

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Cemeteries

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Canisbay, Church of Scotland
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Churches

Presbyterian / Unitarian
Canisbay, Church of Scotland
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Description & Travel

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Gazetteers

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

CANISBAY, a parish, in the county of Caithness; including the island of Stroma, a small part of the former quoad sacra parish of Keiss, and the detached places or townships of Auckingill, Brabster, Duncansbay, Freswick, Gills, Huna, and East and West Mey; and containing 2306 inhabitants. The name of this place has generally been supposed to be a corruption of the term Canute's bay, from some Norwegian chief who arrived here; but others think it comes from Canna, the name of a plant once abundant in the district. In ancient times the parish was portioned into several parts, in each of which there was a religious edifice; and at Freswick are the ruins of an old castle, called Bucholie Castle, which is of great antiquity, and is said to have been inhabited in the twelfth century by a Danish nobleman of the name of Suenus Asteilf. From certain entries in the session records, it is probable that Oliver Cromwell, or some of his officers, were in the parish in the year 1652.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

FRESWICK, a township, in the parish of Canisbay, county of Caithness; containing 414 inhabitants. This place is situated in the eastern part of the parish, where the coast is washed by the North Sea, and indented by Freswick bay; the beach here is composed of sand and a mixture of sandstone and shells, and at a short distance southward is the promontory of Freswick point. The lands are the property of the Sinclair family, who are proprietors of the greater portion of the parish, and to whom belongs Freswick House, an ancient mansion, not inhabited for many years, and now in an almost ruinous state. Freswick burn pursues an eastern course of a few miles, and discharges itself into the bay. Here are the ruins of an edifice called Bucholie Castle, which appears to be of great antiquity; and there was formerly a chapel dedicated to St. Maddan, of which scarcely a vestige now remains.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

GILLS, a township, in the parish of Canisbay, county of Caithness, 15 miles (N. by W.) from Wick; containing 164 inhabitants. It is situated on the shore of the Pentland Firth, nearly opposite the island of Stroma, and at the head of Gills bay, into which a small stream runs, after passing through the village. The bay is tolerably safe for vessels in moderate weather, and in this respect is preferable to Duncansbay and Freswick bay, both in the parish; but it cannot be regarded as an eligible place of anchorage at other times.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, Samuel Lewis - 1851

MEY-EAST-AND-WEST, townships, in the parish of Canisbay, county of Caithness; one containing 262, and the other 149, inhabitants. These places lie in the northern part of the parish, partly on the shore of the Pentland Firth, and derive their name from the early and luxuriant verdure on what is called the Bank-Head, in the spring months. The bay here abounds with lobsters, and a few boats are engaged in that species of fishery. On the coast are some curious rocks known as the Men of Mey, near which is one of two ferries in the parish to the Orkney Islands, the other being at Huna Inn. The loch of Mey, situated a little eastward of the Ratter burn, is a fine sheet of water, about three miles in circumference. The village lies on the main road from Huna to Castletown; it is about eighteen miles north-northwest of Wick, and has a post-office. The population of both townships are chiefly fishermen.
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Historical Geography

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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ND337717 (Lat/Lon: 58.627705, -3.143953), Canisbay which are provided by: