Fyrish Monument

The Fyrish Monument is a monument built in 1782 on Fyrish Hill (Cnoc Fyrish), in Fyrish near Evanton, Easter Ross, Scotland, on the orders of Sir Hector Munro, 8th of Novar, a native lord of the area who had served in India as a general. As the local population were being cleared off their land to make way for sheep, employment was a problem and so it was built to give the locals some work. It represents the Gate of Negapatam, a port in Madras, India, which General Munro took for the British in 1781. It is visible from almost anywhere in the parishes of Kiltearn and Alness.

The view from the monument over the Cromarty Firth and beyond is stunning, although Ben Wyvis can not be seen.There is a good path to the top, quite steep in places. It starts at an unobtrusive car park northeast of the hill at OS grid 627715. Take the Boath turning off the B9176 Struie road.

Monument Myth

There is a myth about the building of the Fyrish Monument, relating to the commissioning of it by Sir Hector Munro. It is said that Sir Munro was a generous man, looking to help the local villagers in their time of unemployment. As the villagers would not take his charity, he instead paid them, as noted, to build the monument. The myth goes that after the villagers had transported the large boulders that the monument is made out of to the top of the hill it is situated on, Sir Hector Munro (presumably with help) rolled all of the stones down the hill again. He could then pay the villagers double the amount for them having to complete the task twice.

Monumental Irony

It should perhaps be pointed out that as the local landowner, it was none other than Sir Hector who had brought in the sheep which were the cause of the unemployment problem. In fact, the risings against the sheep which occurred 10 years later were centered on the glens north and west of Fyrish, on land let by Sir Hector Munro to men from outwith the area. These risings culminated in 1792 with the Black Watch being called in to disperse the highlanders who had driven all of the sheep in ross-shire into a huge flock within sight of Fyrish!

Fyrish Area

Fyrish is the name given to an ancient area of land found just north of Evanton, Ross-shire, Scotland. The lands of Fyrish are now part of the Novar Estate. However the Fyrish lands were once lands which belonged to the Earl of Ross, which were forfeited to the crown in 1475.

The lands of Fyrish were later granted to Sir William Keith by King James VI of Scotland in 1587. Fyrish was then divided into four parts, with Keith retaining one quarter.

Munros of Fyrish

The eastern quarter of Fyrish was given to Hector Munro 1st of Fyrish who was a brother of Robert Mor Munro, 15th Baron of Foulis. Hector's grandson John Munro 3rd of Fyrish built a house at Fyrish and he was succeeded by his son Hugh Munro 4th of Fyrish. A lintel stone dated 1672 survives. When John Munro 5th of Fyrish died, his brother David Munro 6th of Fyrish took over as manager of the estate and sold it to George Munro of Culrain in 1704. The eastern part of Fyrish later passed from the Munro of Culrain family to the Munro of Novar family during the 18th century.

Munros of Novar

The original lands of the Munro estate of Novar was also one quarter of land in Fyrish acquired from Keith of Delny in 1589.

Munros of Teaninich

The other quarter of Fyrish was also acquired from Keith of Delny by Hugh Munro 1st of Teaninich, son of John Munro 3rd of Coul in 1589. These lands at first were just the lower quarter of Fyrish but eventually extended eastward towards the River Alness and Teaninich Castle was bought by the Munros in 1660.


* [http://www.clanmunro.org.uk/merchandise_files/maps.htm http://www.clanmunro.org.uk/merchandise_files/maps.htm]
*Touring Guide Scotland, p. 151. ISBN 0007217978
*A better picture can be seen at: [http://www.ambaile.org.uk/smr/item/item_archaeology.jsp?item_id=8039]

External links

* [http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=261500&y=870500&z=3&sv=261500,870500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf Map from Streetmap.co.uk]
* [http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ullapool/fyrish-monument.shtml Route to the monument from Walkhighlands]

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