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

GREAT material progress has been made in this parish within the last twenty years, as testified by the neat and handsome farm houses and offices everywhere to be found.

Nearly the whole parish belongs to the Earls of Moray, who rounded off their possession some years ago by the acquisition of Bracklich. It is now a silent quiescent parish, though atone time torn by warfare.

The bounds of the old lordship of Petty cannot now be distinctly defined. After the forfeiture of that Earl of Douglas who married the heiress of the Dunbar Earls of Moray, the lands were in continuous dispute. Mackintoshes, Ogilvies, the Little Earl of Moray of the Stuart line, all contended. These disputes are so well known that it would be superfluous to give any account here, suffice it to say that the Mackintoshes were ultimately expelled, and have not a foot of its land other than a distinct place of sepulchre within the old church of Petty. What Mackintosh reminiscences the Parish has? Halhill, where so many Ogilvies were slaughtered; Termit, where in 1609, the biggest Clan Chattan muster ever took place. Connage then comprehended almost the whole of the Parish, lying between the long hollow whence water flows west to the bay of Castle Stuart, and east to the burn or ditch dividing Campbelltown on the one side, and the sea on the other. As this great hollow in winter and floods, before drainage works were known, filled with water it sometimes gave Connage the appearance of a long island, and is indeed sometimes described as an island.

I desire to refer, being little known in history, to that part of Petty, lying at its south or west, and adjoining Inverness, known as Alturlies.

This small estate, long the property of the Culloden family, was Templar ground, and given off in feu about three hundred years ago. The first owners of whom I have note were named Wincester. After Mackintoshes and Cuthberts, the estate was divided into two portions, and the distinction of halves is still kept up in the titles. In 1687, John Cuthbert of Alturlies sold the estate in halves, one half to George Cumming, the other to Robert Rose. Some time thereafter, Cumming sold his half of the property and superiority to John Forbes of Culloden, about 1727. Robert Rose's family possessed the other half, until 1757, when the Rose half was sold judicially to William Fraser of Balnain. Balnain, shortly after the purchase, feued his half to Culloden, and the latter family thus hold half of Alturlies direct of the Crown and the other half of Balnain's heirs. The old feu was eight merks for the whole, and the estate, including small fishings, though so small, had the high valuation of 301 14s, Scots. The estate presents many opportunities for being opened up and developed in form of villas, and for boating and yachting and fishing purposes, whereby the people of Inverness could almost at their own doors obtain all they have now to seek for in summer and autumn at considerable distances.

It is to be hoped that Castle Stuart, so long uninhabited though restored, will, like its neighbour of Dalcross, be again regularly inhabited, and its old amenities revived, restored, and augmented.

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