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Brief Local History

Avoch (okh; from the Scottish Gaelic: Abhach – meaning mouth of the stream) is a harbour-village located on the south-east coast of the Black Isle, on the Moray Firth.

Ormond Castle or Avoch Castle was a stronghold built on the site and served as a royal castle to William the Lion; passed on to the Morays of Petty then Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway, upon his marriage to Joanna de Moravia in 1362. Descendants of Archibald, were to take the title of Earl of Ormonde from the castle.

Looking back east to Avoch from the harbour Legend has it that the village was founded by survivors of the Spanish Armada.

Intrepid Scottish-Canadian explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the first European to explore the great Canadian river now known as the Mackenzie River, crossing North America twice, to the Arctic Ocean in 1789 and Pacific Ocean in 1793, retired to Avoch in 1812 where he died in 1820 and was buried in the old Avoch Parish churchyard.

Avoch was the location of Rosehaugh (Pittanochtie) House, perhaps the most magnificent mansion house in the Scottish Highlands until it was demolished in the 1959.

Craigie Well at Avoch on the Black Isle has offerings of both coins and clouties. Rags, wool and human hair were also used as charms against sorcery, and as tokens of penenace and fulfilment of a vow (Sharp 1998).

Much of Avoch's wealth once came from its fishing industry, which in modern times has decreased with Cromarty taking most of the business. Wildlife-watching boat trips still run, taking visitors to see the dolphins in the inner Moray Firth at Chanonry Point. Tourists now provide much of the village's income.There is also Lazy Corner; a very artistic bus shelter which gives character to the village.


For more on Avoch's history click Here

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