Nigg - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


"NIGG, a parish in the district of Easter-Ross, county Ross, Scotland. It comprises the villages of Shandwick, Balnabruack, and Balnapellin. It extends in length about 6 miles from S.W. to N.E., with a varying breadth of from 2 to 3. The larger portion of the parish forms a peninsula betwixt the Moray Firth and the upper portion of the Cromarty Firth, the remainder being bounded by the parishes of Logie-Easter and Fearn. The surface is chiefly of a hilly nature, the principal hill, called "Nigg," giving name to the parish. This ridge, which overhangs the Moray Firth, extends in length about 5 miles, and attains an altitude of 500 feet. It was formerly artificially wooded with Scotch pines, but these have been entirely cleared, so that it now presents a dreary aspect. Its sides are bold and rocky, and it is chiefly frequented by goats, eagles, and water-fowls. The surface gradually declines towards the Cromarty Firth, and the skirts of this slope become wider towards the N. and W., till they eventually merge in a large tract of level land, which is flanked by the sands of Nigg. The soil of the arable land, which lies chiefly to the W. of Nigg Hill, consists of a fineblack loam upon a subsoil of red sandstone. The chief rocks are conglomerate, granitic gneiss, greenish clay, and sandstone. The village of Nigg is about 3 miles N. of Cromarty. It is situated in a corner of the parish, at the ferry over Cromarty Firth, and near the line of the Inverness and Perth and Inverness and Aberdeen Junction railway, on which it is a station. It formerly had a fort at Dunskeath, built by William the Lion, in 1179. The parish is traversed by the road from the ferry to Tain. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the fisheries. The sands abound in mussels and shellfish, which are very productive. This parish is in the presbytery of Tain, and synod of Ross, and in the patronage of the crown. The minister has a stipend of £234. The parish church was erected in 1626, but since that period has been frequently restored. There are a Free church and an United Presbyterian church. There are parochial and other schools. Bayfield House is the principal residence. Near Shandwick House is a large obelisk with hieroglyphic figures upon it, supposed to commemorate the death of three sons of a Danish king who perished by shipwreck upon the coast. Another similar obelisk formerly stood in the churchyard, but was blown down by a storm of wind in 1725. On the farm of Ankerville, more than a mile from the sea, and nearly 200 feet above its level, is a stratum of oyster-shells of considerable extent, and above 6 inches in depth; they lie about 3 feet below the surface, imbedded in sand, similar to that by the sea-shore."

"SHANDWICK, a village in the parish of Nigg, county Ross, Scotland, 7 miles S.E. of Tain. In the vicinity are some Danish pillars with traces of Runic inscriptions."

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