In the second novel of the Highland Treasures Series, A Highland Ruby, Gavin Munro travels to Cromarty Scotland, a port city on the North Sea, to board a ship to France. His brother Andrew, chief of Clan Munro, sends Gavin on a highly secretive and important mission. During the difficult journey, Gavin encounters mystery, intrigue, and adventure, but finds romance and love.
A Highland Ruby (soon available for purchase)
My husband and I visited Cromarty, Scotland in June of 2012. The small fishing village is the birthplace of my fourth great-grandfather, Duncan Munro. Duncan was born February 17, 1785 and immigrated to North Carolina in the early 1800’s. Scotland is a land of ancient civilizations, legends and myths filling the imagination with mystique. Many Americans share a common heritage with the Scots. Our ancestors journeyed from their homes in Scotland to the shores of an unknown land to cut homes from a wilderness and raise families. Many came for the right to own land–a right denied them in their homeland. Cromarty, being a port burgh, was a gathering place for those seeking passage across the Atlantic.
Cromarty is a small fishing village on the Black Isle (Eilean Dubh) in the Scottish Highlands on the shores of Cromarty Firth. Cromarty Firth empties into the North Sea. In the 1700’s and 1800’s, the area became depressed with scant job opportunities and means of supporting a family. Many of its citizens paid the passage and boarded ships for the Americas or New Zealand in hopes of finding a better life. A monument to the emigrants stands on the banks of the firth. The names of the ships carrying emigrants are carved on the monument. I have not been able to determine the ship Duncan sailed on for North Carolina, but the research continues.
The lighthouse, a field station of the University of Aberdeen, is located on the firth. Alan Stevenson built the lighthouse in 1846.
I don’t know the grade levels housed in this school building, but it was the only one we saw in the town. Many of schools and buildings in Scotland are old according to our standards, but very lovely with the patina of age.
Georgian Merchant House
Cromarty is architecturally important for its Georgian merchant houses that stand within a townscape of Georgian and Victorian fisherman’s cottages. It is an outstanding example of a 18th/19th century burgh, the jewel in the crown of Scottish Vernacular Architecture.
The town grew around the port, formerly used by ferries, to export locally grown hemp fiber, and by trawlers trawling for herring. The port was a British naval base during the First World War and the HMS Natal blew up close by on December 30, 1915 with heavy loss of life.
Hugh Miller Institute
Well-know geologist Hugh Miller was born in Cromarty in 1801. A statue to his memory and the Hugh Miller Institute are in the village.
Gaelic Chapel Ruins in the Cemetery
The ruins of an ancient Gaelic chapel are located in the local cemetery where several Munro graves are found. I looked for the parents of Duncan, Elspet Williamson and George Munro, but did not find them.
A Munro Gravestone
Celtic Cross Gravestone
The Cromarty Courthouse now houses an interesting museum of village life, past and present.
The UK Coastguard maintains a presence in the village.
Drilling Platform in Cromarty Firth
Prosperity returned to Cromarty and the surrounding area with the exploration, drilling and production of North Sea Crude Oil. A drilling platform fabrication yard is located at Nigg, Scotland, not far from Cromarty.