The piece of land we are now on is known as the Black Isle, although it is actually a peninsula surrounded by the Cromarty Firth, the Beauly Firth and the Moray Firth. It gets its name from the fact that snow does not tend to lie there, so it shows up as black compared to the surrounding land. Fortrose used to be called Chanonry, and this name continues to be used for the nearby peninsula known as Chanonry Point. The village was made a Royal Burgh in 1455 by James II and it once had a cathedral. Although this is now ruined, it remains an impressive sight, built of red sandstone, and with parts remaining from the 13th and 14th centuries, including the chapter house. Every year in August a medieval fair is held in the cathedral square called St Boniface's Fair, with the participants dress in medieval clothing.
Fortrose used to be a fishing village, but the harbour is now used mainly by pleasure craft, and there is a yacht club. A walk out to Chanonry Point is rewarded by a lovely view across the Moray Firth to Fort George. There is a whitewashed lighthouse out there, and the Brahan Seer Stone, a memorial to the 17th century seer called Kenneith MacKenzie who was condemned to death as a witch. The peninsula also houses the Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club.
Map of the area.
© 2008 Tom Richardson, via Wikimedia Commons