Ross-shire and Inverness-shire Area, Highland

Ross (Rois in Scottish Gaelic) is a region of Scotland and a former mormaerdom, earldom, sheriffdom and county.

The name Ross allegedly derives from a Gaelic word meaning a headland – perhaps a reference to the Black Isle. The Norse word for Orkney – Hrossay meaning horse island – is another possible origin. The area once belonged to the Norse earldom of Orkney. Ross is a historical comital region, perhaps predating the Mormaerdom of Ross.

“Inverness-shire, a highland county of Scotland, bounded N. by Ross and Cromarty, and the Beauly and Moray Firths, N.E. by the shires of Nairn and Elgin, E. by Banff and Aberdeenshires, S.E. by Perthshire, S. by Argyllshire and W. by the Atlantic. It includes the Outer Hebrides south of the northern boundary of Harris, and several of the Inner Hebrides … and is the largest shire in Scotland. It occupies an area of 2,695,037 acres, or 4211 sq. m., of which more than one-third belongs to the islands.

The county comprises the districts of Moidart, Arisaig and Morar in the S.W., Knoydart in the W., Lochaber in the S., Badenoch in the S.E. and the Aird in the N. Excepting comparatively small and fertile tracts in the N. on both sides of the river Ness, in several of the glens and on the shores of some of the sea lochs, the county is wild and mountainous in the extreme and characterized by beautiful and in certain respects sublime scenery. There are more than fifty mountains exceeding 3000ft. in height, among them Ben Nevis (4406), the highest mountain in the British Isles, the extraordinary assemblage of peaks forming the Monadhliadh mountains in the S.E., Ben Alder (3757) in the S., and the grand group of the Cairngorms on the confines of the shires of Aberdeen and Banff.” – extracted from Encyclopaedia Britannica.

The area of the mainland comprises 1,572,332 acres (636,300 ha).

On the North Sea (eastern side) of the area the major firths are the Beauly Firth and the (Inner) Moray Firth, which mark off the Black Isle from Inverness-shire, the Cromarty Firth, which bounds the districts of Easter Ross and the Black Isle, the Moray Firth, separating Easter Ross from Nairnshire, and the Dornoch Firth, dividing north-east Ross from Sutherland.

On the Atlantic (western) coastline – which has a length of nearly 311 miles (501 km) – the principal sea lochs and bays, from south to north, include Loch Duich, Loch Alsh, Loch Carron, Loch Kishorn, Loch Torridon, Loch Shieldaig, Upper Loch Torridon, Gair Loch, Loch Ewe, Gruinard Bay, Loch Broom and Enard Bay.

The chief capes include Tarbat Ness on the east coast, and Coigach, Greenstone Point, Rubha Reidh, Redpoint and Hamha Point on the west. – extracted from Wikipedia

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