Fortrose - 'The Channery Town of Ross'

Fortrose in Ross-shire sits on the edge of the Moray Firth. In Slezer's view you see the ruins of the town's cathedral, which fell into decline after the Reformation in 1560.

Fortrose consists of two towns, Chanonry (or as Slezer writes, 'Channery') and Rosemarkie, which were formally united in 1592 under the name Fortrose. From the 12th century, Rosemarkie was the seat of the Bishopric of Ross, but the cathedral and former bishop's residence were largely removed by Cromwell in the 1650s.

In front of the town are run-rigs – unenclosed strips of separately cultivated ground. These were typical in the Scottish landscape of the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Image from Theatrum Scotiae by John Slezer, 1693.

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  Read what Robert Sibbald wrote in Theatrum Scotiae about Fortrose

Fortrose ('The Channery Town of Ross')

To the Right Honourable George Viscount of Tarbat, Lord Mccloed of Castlehaven, &c. Lord Register, and One of their Majesties Most Honourable Privy Council.


A Town in the Shire of Ross, so called from the College of Canons Regular that flourished there, lies on the Sea side, and is surrounded with pleasant Hills. It had a large Cathedral Church, a part of which doth yet remain, and is a Bishop's Seat.

Here is to be seen a stately Dwelling of the Earl of Seaforth, who hath considerable Revenues in that County.

Who was Robert Sibbald?

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