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Findhorn Ryal Yacht Club an The Crown an Anchor Inn
Findhorn is located in Moray
Location within Moray
Population930 [2]
OS grid referenceNJ043643
Cooncil area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnitit Kinrick
Post tounFORRES
Postcode destrictIV36
Diallin code01309
EU PairlamentScotland
UK Pairlament
Scots Pairlament
Leet o places
57°39′26″N 3°36′56″W / 57.6573171°N 3.6155305°W / 57.6573171; -3.6155305Coordinates: 57°39′26″N 3°36′56″W / 57.6573171°N 3.6155305°W / 57.6573171; -3.6155305

The village o Findhorn is fund on the north-east shore o the Findhorn Bay an mouth o the River Findhorn, 30 mile east frae Innerness.

Etymology[eedit | eedit soorce]

Watson (1926) kens the name is frae Fionn Èire, meanin White Ireland an "nae dout it refers tae the white saunds o the firth". The dative Èireann gied rise tae the uiss o the Inglis erne in ither local names sic as Invererne, Cullerne an Earnhill.[3]

Timothy Pont's map kiverin Findhorn

It is mair likely that the name is frae the Pictish spoken in the airt. The Pict-Scot union o 843 broucht in Gaelic, Maxwell (1896)[4] kens the Fin is frae the Pictish Pit, as in Pitlochery. The orn is semply 'river', frae the Scots Gaelic abhainn, an Auld Welsh afon. The Gaelic influence wis suin cowped bi the sons o Malcolm Canmore thit brocht in an ancestor o modren Scots tung frae the Northumbrian byleid. Ken the lack o places stairtin wi Fin- an Pit- in the Gaelic speakin regions o the wast coast.[5]

In Timothy Pont's map o 1593 the name o the village wittin Findorn, an naurby The Barr o Findorne[6].

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Bronze Age[eedit | eedit soorce]

Fowk hae bed aroond Findhorn frae mair nor three thoosan year. In 1986 biggin wark kythed a cley burial urn[7] containin the remains o a quine o twinty five year an her bairn.

Lith beads an starn-shapit beads war fund in the urn an aw, these resemmle seemilar beads fund in soothren inle. Caurbon-datin reckons the beads, quine an bairn war frae aboot 1880 BC tae 1520 BC.

Three Villages[eedit | eedit soorce]

Athort the millennia the River Findhorn haes changed coorse monie time, the village o Findhorn haes haed tae muive wi it. Pont's cairt clear shaws the auld saund barr, whaur the river coorse went north an than wast juist north o Elvin pynt frae five mile tae whaur the Buckie Loch is nou.

Thare is an unnerwatter subterranean peat bed thit stends a distance intae the firth frae Burghhead Bay tae the east o Findhorn indicatin that thare wis yinst growthie forest vegetation. In the 19t yearhunner trunks o trees an ruits war dreggit up bi the anchors o ships lyin aff thare. E'en the day, muckle rafts o compactit peat come up on the North Shore o the Findhorn.

Aboot this forest steid an impressive man-makkit hill, 200 fit heich, cawed Douff hillock, this war airn-age in oreegin. It is in this region, a few mile north east o the praisent village, an nou unner the Moray Firth that some historians hiv placed the Findhorn o the Middle Ages.

Wi nae stane available fur biggin atween the rivers Findhorn an Nairn, an nae roads tae help thaim, the tenants an cottars o the airt biggit thair hooses o feal an turve. The renewal o roofs an walls teuk up a considerable amoont o time ilk year an the feal dykes roond the infields hae tae be mainteened. Traditionally the feal frae the roch scuffin or carse war uised frae this purpose, an in the case o the Culbin airt the turf cappin the auld dunes on the shinle ridges war tirrt nakit, an bent gress pullt frae thatch. This exposed the saund ablo tae the wind. Turf wis needit fur mixin intae the middens tae mak compost, an while auld roofs an waws war dumpit thare, muckle mair war dug up. The amoont o turf uised up bi a ferm toun fur these purposes wis surprisinly large, an in the case o the Culbin led tae extensive sandblowin.[8]

Findhorn (1874) by James Giles (1801-1870) in Aiberdeen Art Gallery

Invasion o this airt bi blown saund war recordit as early as the year 1100[9] an at some time the first Findhorn is said tae hiv been inundatit an lost furiver under the Culbin Sands.

The village hae bed on the sooth bank o the river three or fower mile upstream frae its mouth at the Auld Bar, aboot the pynt whaur the river turnt wastwart on its journey parallel tae the edge o the firth an separated frae it bi sand banks. The attractiveness o the shelter affordit bi the river tae mariners wis tempert bi the problem o wind blown sand siltin up the harbour. In 1660 the villagers war forced tae start the construction o new warehouses on the opposite bank whaur the water wis deeper. The second village o Findhorn developed aroond the warehouses across the water frae the original village which war kent as the 'Altoun' or auld toun.

This village is weel kent in the maps an writins o the 17th yearhunner. It wis regarded as the principal port on the Moray Coast, providin safe harbour fur vessels tradin wi the Baltic, Norway an the Low Countries as well as ports aroond Scotland an England an servicin the towns frae Elgin tae Inverness. It wis made a Burgh o Barony in 1661.

In ten year prior tae 1702, the blown sand, which had been causin sic devastation in Culbin, slowly choked the River Findhorn. In the words o J.B. Ritchie (1938)[10]: 'The water wis dammed back bi the sand into a huge lake frae which it began tae escape bi a mair direct route tae the sea. than came unusually high floods tae which the barriers yielded. The pent up waters rushed along the new course, carryin wi them every vestige o the aulder Findhorn'.

Dunes tae the east o Findhorn

The date gien frae this disaster varies but the consensus opinion gies it as 11th October 1702. Tho the final devastation came at nicht, thare wis nae loss o life due tae the astuteness o the villagers who had anticipated sic an ootcome frae some time an had already startit biggin noo hames aboot a mile south-east on the Muirtown Estate.

On returnin after the flood, the people war spellbound. Not a trace o thair hooses war seen. Everythin haed disappeared beneath the sand. frae that time tae this, the estate o Culbin hae been completely buried bi the sand. A portion o the auld mansion house appeared aboot a hundred years later, like a ghostly spectre amidst the sand, an became an object o superstitious interest tae the people o the neighbourhood, especially as one man who had cawed doon the chimney, heard a voice distinctly respond tae his caw. It eventually disappeared as suddenly as it came on the scene. The dovecote an chapel reappeared an aw, an thair ruins supplied stones fur neighbourin farm biggins.

The remains o the dwellins o the second village (nou under the sea, aboot half mile north-west o the present mouth o the river) became an ideal habitat frae mussels, an large mussel scaups developed thare. This is confirmed in the account o a court case in 1762 which states '...the present principal mussel scalp stands upon the very spot whaur Sir James Calder's cellars stood in the auld town o Findhorn'. The harvestin o these mussels wis an important industry frae the fishermen o the new village.

Lookin sooth frae the piers

The village built on the Muirtown Estate frae 1700 onwards is the present village o Findhorn. The stabilisation o the Culbin Sands bi the plantin o trees prevented further sand blows, tho the village suffered great sandstorms an it is recorded that sometimes the villagers had tae dig as muckle as twa feet o sand oot o thair gardens followin a westerly gale.

Groynes o Greenhart wood tae stap the saund frae blowin

The erosion o the sand dunes on the North Shore bi winter storms had gien concern fur many years. The final breachin o the sand dunes teuk place in the winter o 1983 an the influx o a considerable amoont o seawater endangered the fabric o many houses in that area. This prompted the Local Authority tae resolve the problem fur once an frae aw. The sea defenses which are nou hidden bi marram grass on the shore side an sea deposited shinle on the ither, comprise a line o massive rocks risin some 20ft abuin beach level an extendin the length o the danger zone. This is supplemented bi groynes o Greenhart wood placed strategically tae arrest the migration o westward drift sand. So far these measures appear tae hiv been effective.

Fishin at Findhorn[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the 12t yearhunner, the monks o Kinloss Abbey haudit the saumon rights o the bay, an war credited wi buildin the Sturdy, a stone isle uised as a fishin pynt, strategically placed tae catch the run o fish tae an frae the River Findhorn an the Moray Firth. The Sturdy is still visible at low tide, as are some o the remains o one o the earliest kent methods o catchin saumon, the Yaars, which consisted o erectin wicker fences at low tide an as the tide came in the fish swam ower the fence tae be trapped as the tide ebbed.

In the 17t yearhunner Findhorn wis the principal seaport o Moray an Forres an cargo vessels regularly sailed tae an fraw aw pairts o the North Sea an as far as the Baltic Ports an involved in the export o saumon, grain, an ither goods, an in the import o coals. Tidal changes tae the narrow an shallow entrance tae the bay created obstacles tae navigation an as the size o tradin vessels increased so the volume o trade tae the village declined. Durin the nineteenth yearhunner fishin predominated.

Tho considered a secondary industry tae coastal tradin, fishin wis o major importance tae the village economy, employin up tae 160 men. Because o the natural safe anchorage, unique along the north-east coast, herrin drifters, yawls an zulu sailboats uised Findhorn as a base frae both net an line fishin in the Moray Firth. Catches o herrin an whitefish war landed on the shore, equally divided atween the crews, than peddled aroond the immediate area bi the fishwives, or alternately, as most fisher cottages had a tarred curin shed, converted tae kippers in the case o herrins, or a famous local delicacy, speldins, dried haddock.

At the ootset o the 1914–18 war, many zulus o the herrin fleet wis beached at Elvin pynt when the crews war cawed up frae active service, an the day, the skeletal remains o yon boats can still be seen on the foreshore. ithers war beached aroond the harbour area tae be broken up fur firewood, an frae Findhorn it wis the stairt o the end. The slow decline o the whitefish industry began due tae several unavoidable contributory factors, chiefly the unstoppable siltin up o the bay bi sand-drift frae the Culbins, an the increasin difficulty o negotiatin the sand bar at the estuary entrance caused bi long-shore drift. The last locally awnt yawls sailed in the early thirties bi which steam pouer an engines had taken ower frae sail.

fur some years after that boats, generally Scaffies an Fifies, frae Burghhead, Hopeman an as far as Buckie, continued tae call in tae glean the huge mussel scaups in the bay. It wis a tough job undertaken bi men an women, the mussels bein gaithered bi haund an carried in creels tae the waitin boats, o when under water, a trawl wis uised tae raise the mussels, a hard an difficult task. Later the mussels would be shelled an baited on the hundreds o hooks ready fur the next day's expeditions.

Gradually, ancillary jobs in the village associated wi fishin – boat buildin, sail-makin, net barkin, guttin an curin – waned, an apairt frae coble buildin, eventually disappeared.

Railwey[eedit | eedit soorce]

Frae 1860 tae 1869 a branch o railwey ran frae Kinloss tae the harbour at Findhorn frae the salmon fishermen[11]. It wis scunnert financially an wir closed frae passengers in 1869, an anley carried salmon an freight frae anither ten year before closin fur guid. The route o the wey can be made oot on fields durin dry spells, an it follaed the coast whaur the B9011 road is nou.[12]

Saumon fishin[eedit | eedit soorce]

However, thare remained the commercial saumon fishin an in its hey-day Findhorn in the 1920's wis the control centre o the Moray Firth Salmon Fishin Company[13] which operated 22 nettin stations dotted at intervals alang the coast frae Burghhead tae Balintore, wi crews o four or five men mannin the bothies. A series o leader nets on upright poles projected seawards whaur a maze o nettin made escape nearly impossible fur the unwary fish. Flat-bottomed, shallow-draught, 24 foot long cobles war uised tae collect the saumon frae the off-shore nets at suitable states o the tide, an records shaw that this method o fishin wis very successful, tho predatory seals war a constant maraudin enemy. Eventually the industry closed doun in 1987.

Inside the bay a different system kent locally as bangin wi uised, wi the fishin rights frae early last yearhunner tae the closure awnt bi C.R.Sellar an Company, an the buildins occupied bi Moray Water Sports war the bothies frae the crews nou. Bangin consisted o feedin oot nets frae the beach in a circular fashion in a smawer teep o coble frae stells, as the fishin points war kent, an thare war several aroond the bay but most uised war the Glory Hole at the estuary mouth an the Sturdy. The sweep o the encirclin nets trapped the passin saumon on thair wey up or doun stream, an again record shaw some amazin 'hauls'. A keen rivalry developed atween boat crews fur the muckle catches durin the saumon fishin season, thit lastit frae the icy waters an sleety winds o Februar tae the sunny balmy days o August. Holiday makers teuk a great interest in watchin the bangers at wirk an anticipatin the catches an aw.

Saumon catches diminished durin the late 20t yearhunner, an that wey o life ended in 1987.

Findhorn X class yacht[eedit | eedit soorce]

The interest in pleasure sailin wis probably kindled when the country wis rekiverin frae the First World War. Records are vague but in the early 1920s thare war at least five local yawls.

Aw saumon fishers worked on a bonus system ower thair wages, which wis paid oot at the season's finish, the back-end as it wis kent, in August an in that month an aw, the annual regatta wis haudit. The regatta wis a family fun day haudit atween the piers wi a series o coble races, boat tug-o-wars an ither aquatic sports.

The first pleasure orientated boats tae appear at Findhorn in any significant numbers war the Lymington scows, which war purchased in the sooth. They war sturdy centre-board dinghies, 11ft.3in. long, wi a 60sq.ft. single lug sail rig. A class o these scows wis soon estaiblisht at Findhorn an it wis the competitive element derived frae regular Saturday sailin o these vessels that wis perhaps responsible mair than any ither sinle factor frae the formation o a yacht club.

In 1929 James Chadwick (the first Commodore) alang wi ither dinhy sailors, foondit the Findhorn Yacht Club. His home wis uised as the club meetin place an this buildin wis eventually tae end up as the clubhouse we keek the day. 1930 saw the first o the Findhorn class boats, an 18.ft. boat built wi local help, bi James Chadwick frae aboot £80. The actual prototype wis constructed in the premises (kent in latter days as Frankie's boat-shed) an a number o such boats war built an kent as the Findhorn X class. This X class is reputed tae be the forerunner tae the 18ft boat class. This fleet expanded tae ower twinty boats before the Second World War when pleasure sailin largely ceased. After the war the sailin slowly recovered an the club began tae flourish wi the membership expandin quite dramatically in the late fifties an sixties wi a resultant increase in cruisers an dinhies. In 1971 the Findhorn Yacht Club wis awardit the Royal title

Suenos Stane[eedit | eedit soorce]

The proud Suenos Stane is steid juist ootside o Forres, owerlookin Findhorn Bay. It is the tallest in Scotland at seven metre tall, biggit in later 9t or 10t centuries, durin the time o kin Malcolm. It can be keeked juist north ae Forres on Timothy Pont's map as one o twa pillars, the secont stane is lost.

Employment[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 2011 thare war 463 fowk in employment. The main wirk in the community included:

  • Manufacturin: 6.9%
  • Construction: 3.7%
  • Wholesale an Retail: 8.9%
  • Accommodation an Food: 8.2%
  • Scientific: 7.6%
  • Admin an Defense: 12.5%
  • Education: 18.6%
  • Health an Social: 13.8%

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. "Findhorn". Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Archived frae the original on 30 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  2. "statistics.gov.scot Findhorn". Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  3. Watson, W.J. (1926). The Celtic Place-names of Scotland. John Donald. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-906566-35-7.
  4. Maxwell, Herbert (1894). Scottish land-names; their origin and meaning. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood. p. 64.
  5. Cox, Richar A. V. (1997). "Modern Scottish Gaelic reflexes of two Pictish words: *pett and *lannerc" (PDF). Nomina. 20: 50.
  6. Pont, Timothy. "Moray and Nairn – Pont 9". maps.nls.uk. National Library of Scotland. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  7. Shepherd, Ian AG (2001). "A Cordoned Urn burial with faience from 102 Findhorn, Moray". Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: 101–128. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  8. Sinclair, Ross (1 Apryle 1989). The Culbin Sands – Fact and Fiction. Aberdeen: University of Aberdeen Centre for Scottish Studies.
  9. McKenzie, Steven. "Buried past: The communities lost to sand". BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  10. Ritchie, J. B. (1932). The Pageant of Morayland. Elgin. p. 168.
  11. "Findhorn Railway". RailScot. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  12. "Old-Maps". Old-Maps.co.uk. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  13. Graham-Stewart, Andrew. "River Conon History". Conon Fishing. Retrieved 30 September 2020.