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The age of Elgin is unknown, but it cannot be ]ess than 900 years,
if ancient historians be correct in stating that the Norwegian General,
Hegly, who conquered Caithness in 927, called the place, or town, by
his own name. In 1008 the Danes took the Castle of Elgin on Lady-
hill, and 216 years after this the Cathedral was founded at Elgin, by
which time the town would appear to have become one of considerable
The town is very pleasantly situated upon gently rising ground,
that declines to the winding water Lossie on the north, and to what
was once a morass on the south, but is now fertile land. The great
road from Aberdeen to Inverness passes through the town from east
to west for nearly a mile, and the breadth of Elgin, including Bishop-
mill, is also about a mile. Except on each side of the High Street,
the town is not closely built, but leaves space for garden ground, which,
from the many trees upon it, gives the town a pleasaat appearance.
There is not, perhaps, in Scotland a town of its size with so many
public institutions and fine buildings in it as there are in Elgin.
Anderson's Institution, a home for poor old men and women, and for
boys and girls, has a Free School connected with it. It stands at one
end of the town, and at the other may be seen an Infirmary and a
Lunatic Asylum for the county. Close by the latter there is a monu-
mental column on Ladyhill, with a statue upon it erected in memory
of the last Duke of Gordon. Besides these buildings, Elgin has a large
and well-filled Museum ; a Court House for the business of the town
and county ; elegant Assembly Booms for Masonic meetings, balls, and
high-class entertainments ; a handsome Concert Hall or Theatre ; a
Corn Market Hall ; a Public Market under roof ; seven Banks, five
of them very handsome edifices, and one of them — the Commercial
Bank — with a front rich in sculpture. The Established Church stands
in the centre of the broad High Street, and was erected in 1828 at a
cost of nearly £9000. The architecture is Grecian, with an arcade in
front. Among the other eight churches in Elgin the most handsome are
the Moss Street U.P. Church, the South Free Church, the Episcopalian
and Catholic Churches — all Gothic structures, and nearly new. The
foundation of another new church for the United Presbyterian congre-
gation in South Street was laid on the 10th of March, 1863. All these
churches, with the institutions mentioned, presenting towers, domes,
spires, and turrets, give the town a fine architectural aspect. Nor
must the massive ruins of the once splendid Cathedral of Elgin be
forgotten, the sight of them being worth a journey of many miles.
Many of the private as well as public buildings of Elgin are com-
paratively new. Within even the past ten years, the appearance of the

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