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CROMARTY, a police burgh and seaport of the county of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland. Pop. (1901) 1242. It is situated on the southern shore of the mouth of Cromarty Firth, 5 m. E. by S. of Invergordon on the opposite coast, with which there is daily communication by steamer, and 9 m. N.E. of Fortrose, the most convenient railway station. Before the union of the shires of Ross and Cromarty, it was the county town of Cromartyshire, and is one of the Wick district group of parliamentary burghs. Its name is variously derived from the Gaelic crom, crooked, and bath, bay, or ard, height, meaning either the " crooked bay," or the " bend between the heights " (the high rocks, or Sutors, which guard the entrance to the Firth), and gave the title to the earldom of Cromarty. The principal buildings are the town hall and the Hugh Miller Institute. The harbour, enclosed by two piers, accommodates the herring fleet, but the fisheries, the staple industry, have declined. The town, however, is in growing repute as a midsummer resort. The thatched house with crow-stepped gables in Church Street, in which Hugh Miller the geologist was born, still stands, and a statue has been erected to his memory. To the east of the burgh is Cromarty House, occupying the site of the old castle of the earls of Ross. It was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Urquhart, the translator of Rabelais.

Cromarty, formerly a county in the north of Scotland, was incorporated with Ross-shire in 1889 under the designation of the county of Ross and Cromarty. The nucleus of the count}' consisted of the lands of Cromarty in the north of the peninsula of the Black Isle. To this were added from time to time the various estates scattered throughout Ross-shire the most considerable of which were the districts around Ullapool and Little Loch Broom on the Atlantic coast, the area in which Ben Wyvis is situated, and a tract to the north of Loch Fannich which had been acquired by the ancestors of Sir George Mackenzie (1630- 1714), afterwards Viscount Tarbat (i685)and 1st earl of Cromarty ( 1 703). Desirous of combining these sporadic properties into one shire, Viscount Tarbat was enabled to procure their annexation to his sheriffdom of Cromarty in 1685 and 1698, the area of the enlarged county amounting to nearly 370 sq. m. (See Ross AND CROMARTY.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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