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Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social
(Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Chapter XXXIV. Ardersier


THE history of this small parish has been destitute of interest ever since it became the exclusive property of the Campbells of Cawdor.

The Mackintoshes, who were in the ascendant in the neighbouring Parish of Petty at an early period, were ousted by the Campbells, after the lapse of a liferent conceded to the last Mackintosh possessor. The Templars at one time had a good hold, and under them were Mackays.

The possession up to the time of the sale to the Crown for the erection of Fort-George and the sustenance of the garrison was of little value to the Campbells. From the Crown was obtained a much larger sum than was originally paid for the whole of Ardersier.

The erection of a Fort attracted a considerable population, and the foundations of the two settlements of Stewarton, so called, on the Moray estate, and of Campbelltown on the Cawdor estate. A ditch dividing the estates of these two potentates, draining a large extent of land, has through neglect become a public nuisance, reflecting little credit on the wealthy owners of the lands adjoining.

The clergyman of Ardersier of old sat in the Presbytery of Chanonry, and ministerial inductions, judging from the mass of papers concerning them, created more interest with the estate managers and owners than the weal of the inhabitants.

The Crown has been curtailing its interest in Ardersier by parting with the lands of Hilihead, and if the Fort itself disappeared, with its name, the public would not regret.

The present inhabitants of Campbelltown have shown their public spirit by the erection of a substantial pier, which it is hoped may satisfy the wishes and objects of the promoters. By Fort-George is an old highway to Ross- shire and the Northern Counties, and if a light railway from the present Fort-George station to the sea were made, and an efficient system of ferryage established, prosperity would follow.

The further scheme of adapting the Fort into bathing quarters for the Inverness people and others who, in the summer and autumn, pour into Nairn and other places on the Moray Firth, has much to recommend it to public favour.


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