Cromarty is first recorded in the thirteenth century as both a royal burgh and a small sheriffdom. The town's varied history has included periods of marked prosperity - in the early 1700s, based on a thriving trade in grain and salt fish; in the 1760s and '70s under an improving laird who, among other innovations, built Britain's largest hemp factory here; and especially from the 1790s to the 1830s, when some believed that it might replace Inverness as the principal commercial centre of the Highlands. A disastrous decline followed, however, with the failure of the town's trade as it was bypassed by the expanding network of sea, road and rail transport. Although the Cromarty Firth was an important naval base during WW1, the decline continued until the 1970s, when North Sea oil and improved communications brought a revival. This study considers Cromarty in the wider context of the northern Highlands and sheds new light on the area's social and economic history.
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(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Publisher: Birlinn General
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Author Biography - Mr David Alston
David Alston was born and brought up in the Highlands and has lived in Cromarty for the past twenty years. He has studied at the universities of Aberdeen, Oxford, Leicester and Dundee, and has worked as a youth leader, school teacher, adult education organiser and museum curator. He is now an elected member of The Highland Council and a member of the board of NHS Highland.