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INVERNESS-SHIRE


Loch Quoich (6 m.) lies N. by W. of Loch Arkaig, and Loch Garry (4§ m.) a few miles to the N. E.; Loch Morar (11% m. long by 1% broad) is only about 600 yds. from the sea, to which it drains by the river Morar, which falls over a rocky barrier, at the foot of which is a famous salmon pool. The loch is 1017 ft. deep and is thus the deepest lake in the United Kingdom. It contains several islands, on one of which Lord Lovat was captured in 1746. Loch Laggan (7 m.) and Loch Treig (55 m.) in the south of the county are both finely situated in the midst of natural forests. The principal salt-water lochs on the Atlantic seaboard are Loch Hourn (“ Hell's Lake, ” so named from the wild precipices rising sheer from the water), running inland for I4 m. from the Sound of Sleat and separating Glenelg from Knoydart; and Loch Nevis (14 m.), a few miles farther south.

The parallel roads of Glen Roy, a glen with a north-easterly to south-westerly trend, a few miles east of Loch Lochy, presented a problem that long exercised the minds of geologists. At heights of 1148 ft., IO67 ft. and 835 ft., there run uninterruptedly along each side of the glen terraces of a width varying from 3 to 30 ft. Local tradition ascribes them to the Ossianic heroes, and John Playfair (1748-1819) argued that they were aqueducts. The fact that they occur also in the neighbouring Glen Gloy and Glen Spean, however, disposes of an artificial origin. John MacCulloch (1773—183 5) propounded the theory that they were lacustrine and not marine, and Agassiz followed him with the suggestion that the water had been held up by a barrier of glacier ice. This view is now generally accepted, and the roads may therefore be regarded as the gently sloping banks of lakes dammed up by glacier ice. Glen More-nan-Albin, or the Great (ilen, is a vast “ fault, ” or dislocation, 62 m. in length, through which Thomas Telford constructed (1804 1822) the Caledonian Canal connecting Loch Linnhe and the Moray Firth. Glen More is said to be liable to shocks of earthquake, and Loch Ness was violently agitated at the time of the great Lisbon earthquake (1755).

Among the glens renowned for beauty are Glen Urquhart and Glen Moriston to the west of Loch Ness, Glen Feshie in the east, and Glen Nevis at the southern base of Ben Nevis. Glen Garry, to the west of Loch Oich, gave its name to the well-known cap or “ bonnet ” worn both in the Highlands and Lowlands. In Glen Finnan, at the head of Loch Shiel, Prince Charles Edward raised his standard in 1745, an incident commemorated by a monument erected in 1815 by Alexander Macdonald of Glenaladale. The great straths or valleys are in the north and east, the chief among them being Strathfarrar, Strathglass and Strathnairn, and the heads of Strathearn and Strathspey. Geology.-Almost the entire area of this county is occupied by the younger Highland schists and metamorphic rocks. East of Loch Ericht and the rivers Traim and Spcy as far as Airemore and between there and Duthel there are quartzite's and quartzose schists; on the remaining area the various kinds of schistose and gneissose rock have hardly been worked out in detail. Granite masses occur in numerous isolated patches; the largest is on the eastern boundary and includes the flanks of Cairn Gorm, Cairn Toul, Braeriach, Carn Ban and Meall Tisnail. Other smaller ones are found at Ben Nevis, where the lower part of the mountain is granite, the upper (part porphyritic felsite; between Moy and Ben Buidhe Mhor; E. o Foyers, including Whitebridge, Aberchalder and Loch Farraline; at Ben Alder, W. of Loch Ericht and another between that loch and the river Pattack; at lianavie on the W. of the river Lochy; around the upper end of Loch Clunie and at several other places. The dioritic mass of Rannoch Moor just enters this county between Loch Ericht and Loch Ossian.

The Old Red Sandstone extends into this county from Nairn through Culloclen Moor past Inverness and down Loch Ness to a point south of Foyers; it occurs also on the south-east side of Loch Oich, and around Beauly, where it forms the falls of Kilmorach. These rocks consist at the base of coarse breccias and conglomerates passing upwards into chocolate-coloured sandstone and flags, with the shaly series containing limestone nodules known as the fish bed from the abundance and importance of its fossil contents; it is well exposed in the Big Burn an near Loch Ashie. At a higher horizon come more purple flags and grits. The Great Glen which traverses the county is an old line of earth fracture along which displacements have been produced during more than one geological period. Roches moutonnees, glacial striations and moraines and other evidences of the great Ice age are abundant, besides the parallel roads of Glen Roy to which allusion has already been made. The lowest of these terraces is prolonged into Glen Spean. At numerous places on the coasts the remains of old marine terraces occur at loo ft. and 25 ft. above the sea.

Of the small isles belonging to Inverness-shire those of Rum and Eigg are of the greatest interest. The northern part of Rum is made of Torridonian rocks, shales below and red sandstones above; altogether over 10,000 ft. are visible. These rocks have suffered thrusting and the shales are thus made in places to overlie the sand-Stones. A few patches of Torridonian occur in the south. Tertiary peridotites in laccolitic masses cover a large area in the south of the island and form the highest ground. These are penetrated by eucrites and gabbros, followed later by granites; andpthe whole has been subsequently crushed into a. complex gneissose mass. Still later, dolerite sills and sheets and dikes of granophyre and quartz felsite followed in the same region. Eigg is mainly built of great basaltic lava flows with intrusions of doleritic rocks; these were succeeded by more acid intrusions, and again by a more basic series of dikes. Pitchstones occur among the later rocks. The Sgurr is capped by a thick intrusion of pitchstone. lurassic rocks, including the Estuarine Lower Oolite sandstones, shales and limestones and Middle Oolite Oxfordian rocks are found in the north of this island; there is also a small trace of Upper Cretaceous sandstone. Canna, Sanday and Muck are almost wholly basaltic; a small patch of éurassic occurs on the south of the last-named island. (See also KYE.

Forests and Fauna.—Deer forests occupy an enormous area, particularly in the west, in the centre, in the south and south-east and in Skye. From the number of trees found in peat bogs, the county must once have been thickly covered with wood. Strathspey is still celebrated for its forests, and the natural woods on Loch Arkaig, in Glen Garry, Glen Moriston, Strathglass and Strathfarrar, and at the head of Loch Sheil, are extensive. The forests consist chiefly of oak, Scotch fir, birch, ash, mountain ash (rowan), holly, elm, hazel and Scots poplar, but there are also great plantations of larch, spruce, silver fir, beech and plane. Part of the ancient Caledonian forest extends for several miles near the Perthshire boundary. Red and roe deer, the Alpine and common hare, black game and ptarmigan, grouse and pheasant abound on the moors and woodlands. Foxes and wild cats occur, and otters are met with in the lakes and streams. There are also eagles, hawks and owls, while great liocks of waterfowl, particularly swans, resort to Loch Inch and other lakes in Badenoch. Many of the rivers and several of the lochs abound with salmon and trout, the salmon fisheries of the Beauly, Ness and Lochy yielding a substantial return. Climate and A agriculture.-Rain is heavy and frequent in the mountains, but slighter towards the northern coast; the fall for the year varying from 73-17 in. at Fort William to 43'I7 in. at Fort Augustus, and 26-53 in. at Inverness. The mean temperature for the year is 47~2°F., for January 38-5° and for August 58°. Although since 1852 the cultivated area has increased greatly, actually the percentage of land under crops is still small. The Aird and Beauly districts, some of the straths and several of the glens are fertile. Oats are the predominant crop, barley is grown (mostly for the distilleries), but the wheat acreage is trifling. Of green crops turnips do well in certain districts, artificial manures being extensively used. In those quarters where the soil is dry, potatoes are successfully.raised. An immense number of the holdings are crofts averaging 5 acres or under. About 5o% are between 5 acres and 50; but few are above 50. The operations of the Crofters' Commission (1886) have been beneficial in a variety of ways. Not only have rentals been reduced considerably and arrears cancelled, but the increased sense of security resulting from the granting of fair rentals, fixity of tenure and compensation for disturbance has induced tenants to reclaim wasteland, to enlarge their holdings and to apply themselves more thriftily and with greater enterprise and intelligence to the development of their farms. On the large holdings the most modern methods of husbandry are followed, the farm buildings are excellent and the implements up-to-date. The hills furnish good pastures. The flocks of sheep are exceptionally heavy, the chief varieties on the uplands being Cheviots and black-faced and in some of the lower districts Leicesters and half-breeds. Of the cattle the principal breed is the Highland, the largest and best herds of which are in the

Western Isles. Polled and shorthorns are also reared, am