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Walking to the Fyrish monument


Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 19 June 2009

Friday 19 June, walking to the Fyrish monument

View on the Black Isle View on the Black IsleThe sun is shining when we get up but it is not very hot. Today we are going to look for some roads where we have not been to yet, according to my map. That is becoming more and more difficult in this area because we have been here so often. Fortunately for Elisabeth I limit myself to a 1: 400,000 map but that is pretty accurate for the Highlands.
Former Secession Chapel, EvantonEvanton is located 10 kilometers north of Dingwall and was founded in the 19th century by Alexander Fraser who named it after his son Evan. There was already some settlement before but the current village is relatively new compared to the other places in the Highlands. We make a short walk.
Foulis Castle Ardross castleNear Evanton we also come across castles such as Foulis Castle which is a large country house and Ardross castle where you can plan your wedding. There are no price indications on their website but it will probably not be cheap.
Walking on Fyrish Hill A small loch on Fyrish HillNot far from Evanton lies the Fyrish Monument, or actually the Gates of Negapatam at the top of the Fyrish hill. From the A9 which runs from Inverness to Wick you can see it in the distance as a set of arches on the hill and we have so often driven past that we finally have to walk there. It takes us some time to find the beginning of a path to it but finally we find that on the northeast side along the B9176.
View from Fyrish Hill Walking on Fyrish HillThe path that leads to the monument is called the Jubilee Path and goes mainly through the forest. For us, as untrained hikers, it is a long journey: 3 kilometers up and 3 back again. But we will only find that out afterwards when we take a good look at the sign at the parking lot. It is a nice walk and only at the last moment, when we come out of the forest, we see the monument. Outside the forest there is a cold, strong wind and the last part is the hardest of the whole walk.
Fyrish Monument, Gates of Negapatam Fyrish Monument, Gates of NegapatamSir Hector Munro had the monument built in 1782 following the example of the Gates of Negapatam in India, where he conquered Madras from the Dutch as a soldier. At that time unemployment was shockingly high in the Highlands and in this way he provided work for the unemployed, for 1 penny a day.
The result are three arcs with a few loose columns next to it so that it looks like a ruin.
The story goes that Sir Hector personally pushes stone blocks off the hill to give the men extra work; heavy work because all the blocks had to be rolled from the bottom to the top (with the hand according to the stories) and the top lies at a height of almost 450 meters.
Start of Jubilee PathHere is the proof that the climb was really that long with a tired Elisabeth hanging above it. Her muscles do regret the long walk a bit, but together with the story that goes with it, it is still a beautiful trip. We have a whole list of things that we still want to visit in Scotland but we can now delete this one from our list!
Deer near Alness Scottish sheepAfter that we drive around the area for a few hours and we meet an incredible amount of deer on and along the road. And of course the sheep that you encounter here everywhere. One of the reasons why the Highlands are so empty is that people were chased away during the Clearances in the 18th and 19th centuries and entire villages were destroyed because the landlords thought it more profitable to keep sheep.
Entrance of Ardross CastleWe also pass the entrance to Ardross Castle that we saw from a distance earlier today. But because there is a small Private Estate notice at the entrance, we do not drive on to take a closer look.
At the end of the afternoon we go back to the hotel where we get a delicious meal and we spend the evening with Iain and Cathy and the Americans. Iain has to remove a slightly too drunk visitor out of the pub on the street but it does not spoil the fun we have.

 


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