William Daniell's journeys around Skye, Raasay and the Moray Coast in 1815

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Helmsdale

Dunrobin Castle 

Nairn

Castle of Mey

Quotations from the text

With original spellings

The Reverend Charles Cordiner on the Caithness coastline
Old Castles are frequently remarkable on the head-lands impending over the sea: and this style of coast continues all the way to the beach beyond Dungsby-head, commonly called (John-a-groat’s house), that being the name of a man who long kept the ferry boat, which passes between Scotland and the Orcades.
William Daniell on reaching Berrydale on his journey south on the Caithness coast.
One of the most pleasing changes of scene that occurred on this journey was the first sight of Berrydale, looking from the road down upon the two bridges; the inn with its wooded bank above it, and the summit of the hill crowned by the mansion belonging to Mr. Horn.......
H.Steward Mackintosh on the hazards of crossing the Ords of Caithness
Up until the early years of the 18th century the road followed the giddy course across the face of the headland some 800 feet above sea level, and many grim tales associated with it. The old folks tell of one wild winter’s night when the coach was blown off the road and hurled on the rocks below, and history records that robbers haunted the Ord till Sir Robert Gordon, who was acting for the young Earl of Sutherland, took summary action and hanged them on Gibbets erected on the summit.
William Daniell on his first sight of Dunrobin Castle
The situation of the castle is singularly striking and beautiful. Standing on the edge of the wooded glen, upon a knoll of considerable height, and so steep as to be almost perpendicular.
Charles Cordiner commenting on the effect of the Reformation in Scotland
Commerce, however, is not sufficiently alive in Dornoch to compensate for the loss sustained, when opulence ceased to circulate in it, which sprung from it being an episcopal residence. Many of the more ancient towns in Scotland, whose flourishing state, arose from religious establishments, like Dornoch, have from their abolition fallen into mournful decay.
John MacCulloch on the herring fishery in Cromarty
The herring fishery has been singularly successful, and the greatest resort of fishermen at present was to this port; which was crowded with the busses that came to buy, thus forming the market, and becoming the rendezvous of all the boats on the coast for many miles around.
The author describing Chanonry Point on the Moray Firth
It is claimed that in the whole world it is the place where from dry land one can obtain the closest view of dolphins.
John MacCulloch on describing Inverness and surroundings
It is also the boast of Inverness to unite two opposed qualities, and each in great perfection; the characters of a rich open low country with those of the wildest alpine scenery: both also being close at hand , and, in many places intermixed; while in all this , is added a series of maritime landscapes not often equalled.
Daniell in describing the Royal Academy in Inverness
One of the most distinguished public institutions is the academy, which was finally established in 1790, through the exertions of some public-spirited gentleman inhabiting this and the neighbouring counties. They were aided in this good work by contributions from their countrymen in England, France America and the Indies.
Thomas Pennant on the dress of the Highlander
The feil-beg, i.e. little plaid, also called the kelt, is a sort of short petticoat reaching only to the knees, and is a modern substitute for the lower part of the plaid, being found to be less cumbersome, especially in time of action, when the Highlanders used to tuck their breachan into their girdle.
Thomas Pennant on the playing of the bagpipes
This instrument is become scarce since the abolition of the power of the chieftains, and the more industrious turn of the common people.
Charles Cordiner in correspondence with Pennant
Your instructions with respect to (Forres Pillar) made it an object that demanded my best attention. Knowing it surpassed, in magnificence and grandeur, other obelisks in Scotland, and was said to be “the most stately monument of the Gothic kind to be seen in Europe”, and your solicitude with respect to the authenticity of the sculptures on it, so impressed me with an idea of importance , that I marked the figures with vigilance and care.
Malcolm and Roger Christie on the building of Coxton Tower in Moray
In 1535 an act of Parliament required that every land owner over a certain value, had to build a tower or castle to defend his land.
The author on Mary Queen of Scott’s reception on arrival in Scotland in 1562
When Mary’s party arrived at Findlater Castle she was refused entry. She demanded that Sir John Gordon be handed over to her and imprisoned in Stirling Castle. The Earl, (4th Earl of Huntley), refused to do so. The Gordons were in open revolt against her.
James Imlach describing the 4th Earl of Fife
At various periods since his return from Spain, when he could withdraw himself from Court, and his personal attendance on the Sovereign, we find him at home, at his princely seat, Duff House, doing the honours of his house and of his high position in the most liberal hospitality.