Forres

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Coordinates: 57°36′29″N 3°37′12″W / 57.608°N 3.620°W / 57.608; -3.620

Forres
Scottish Gaelic: Farrais
Forres is located in Moray
Forres
Forres
 Forres shown within Moray
Population 8,967 (Census 2001)
OS grid reference NJ034578
Council area Moray
Lieutenancy area Moray
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FORRES
Postcode district IV36
Dialling code 01309
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Moray
Scottish Parliament Moray
List of places
UK
Scotland

Forres (/ˈfɒrɨs/; Scottish Gaelic: Farrais) is a town and former royal burgh situated in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 25 miles east of Inverness. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions.[1] There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are many historical artifacts and monuments within the town itself.

Brief history and overview[edit]

The earliest written reference to Forres may be the Οὐάραρ εἴσχυσις ('Varar Estuary') mentioned in the second century Geography of Claudius Ptolemy. A royal castle was in the area from at least 900 AD, and around 1140 AD Forres became a royal burgh. Royal burghs were founded by the Kings of Scots of the 12th century to encourage trade and economic improvement. The local abbey was plundered by Wolf of Badenoch.

Sueno's Stone in Forres

On 23 June 1496 King James IV of Scotland issued a Royal Charter laying down the rights and privileges that the town's people are believed to have held by an earlier charter since the reign of King David I some 300 years earlier.

The population of Forres has grown in recent years and now has almost 15,000 inhabitants.[2] Sitting between the floodplain of the River Findhorn and the wooded slopes of Cluny and Sanquhar Hills, Forres is well known for its award-winning floral sculptures and is steeped in local history an d traditions. Local bars and pubs include The Newmarket, The Red Lion, locally known as the "Beastie", The Mosset Tavern,[3] and The Carlton Hotel.[4]

The town is the location of Sueno's Stone, an enormous carved stone probably created by Picts to commemorate a battle against Norse invaders. The stele is 20 feet (6 metres) tall and encased in glass structure to protect it from the elements and graffiti. Sueno's Stone translates to Sven's Stone. Brodie Castle lies near the town.

Other attractions to Forres include Dallas Dhu Distillery, which lies just south of the town. Although no longer in production, the distillery is maintained in working order by Historic Scotland. Benromach Distillery[5] is an active distillery with a visitors' centre and is located just north of the Forres bypass.

Shakespeare's play Macbeth locates Duncan's castle in Forres. Macbeth's castle was located at Inverness.

Forres has a network of footpaths that have been established and waymarked by the Forres Footpaths Trust in recent years (needs approximate years).[6]

Forres has also just completed a multi-million pound flood prevention scheme at Chapletonmoss and in front of the Mosset Tavern in the town centre.

Notable residents[edit]

Parliamentary burgh[edit]

Forres was a parliamentary burgh, combined with Inverness, Fortrose and Nairn, in the Inverness Burghs constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918. The constituency was abolished in 1918 and the Forres and Nairn components were merged into the then new constituency of Moray and Nairn.

Climate[edit]

As with the rest of the British Isles and Scotland, Forres experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. The nearest official Metoffice weather station for which online records are available is Kinloss, about 3 miles north east of the town centre. The lowest temperature to be recorded in recent years was −16.0 °C (3.2 °F) during December 2010.[7]

Climate data for Kinloss 5m asl, 1971-2000, extremes 1960- (Weather station 3 miles (5 km) NE of Forres)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.1
(59.2)
16.1
(61)
21.7
(71.1)
24.9
(76.8)
28.3
(82.9)
27.7
(81.9)
30.7
(87.3)
31.2
(88.2)
26.2
(79.2)
24.4
(75.9)
18.8
(65.8)
15.8
(60.4)
31.2
(88.2)
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
(43.9)
7.1
(44.8)
9.0
(48.2)
10.8
(51.4)
14.1
(57.4)
16.4
(61.5)
18.7
(65.7)
18.4
(65.1)
15.8
(60.4)
12.7
(54.9)
9.0
(48.2)
7.0
(44.6)
12.2
(54)
Average low °C (°F) 0.6
(33.1)
0.5
(32.9)
2.0
(35.6)
3.4
(38.1)
5.9
(42.6)
8.7
(47.7)
10.8
(51.4)
10.6
(51.1)
8.5
(47.3)
5.8
(42.4)
2.7
(36.9)
1.0
(33.8)
5.1
(41.2)
Record low °C (°F) −15.6
(3.9)
−14.4
(6.1)
−10.7
(12.7)
−7.3
(18.9)
−3.4
(25.9)
−0.5
(31.1)
1.5
(34.7)
1.3
(34.3)
−1.2
(29.8)
−4.6
(23.7)
−13.1
(8.4)
−16.5
(2.3)
−16.5
(2.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 55.4
(2.181)
39.0
(1.535)
45.7
(1.799)
42.0
(1.654)
45.4
(1.787)
52.9
(2.083)
52.5
(2.067)
57.4
(2.26)
64.7
(2.547)
58.4
(2.299)
59.4
(2.339)
51.4
(2.024)
624.4
(24.583)
Mean monthly sunshine hours 43.7 73.5 102.3 126.3 180.1 156.6 152.8 140.4 112.5 85.6 51.6 36.0 1,261.4
Source #1: Met Office[8]
Source #2: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[9]

Transport[edit]

The high street of Forres, 2004

Forres is situated on the A96 trunk route connecting the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness. The River Findhorn was originally crossed by fording near Waterford Farm. A suspension bridge was opened in 1831 to cross the river at the west end of the town. This bridge was replaced by the current bridge in 1938. Due to high volumes of traffic passing through the town centre, a bypass was built in the late 1980s to reduce congestion in the town centre. The A940 connects Forres with Grantown-on-Spey, Aviemore and the south directly without the requirement of driving via Inverness. The B9011 connects Forres to RAF Kinloss and Findhorn Bay.

Forres railway station is situated just outside of the town and is operated by First ScotRail. The town of Forres was once a triangular junction in the Highland Railway network, travelling through Forres was once the quickest route to reach Inverness from the south. Originally the station had four platforms; two of which were on the north side of the triangle on the route between Inverness and Aberdeen, the third on the south west side of the triangle used by services to Grantown-on-Spey. The fourth was a short platform on the south east side used by through services between Elgin and Aviemore via Grantown. Trains from Grantown towards Nairn or Inverness had to run through the station and then reverse back into the Aberdeen to Inverness platform and this is the only platform to remain in service today. The service to Grantown-on-Spey was closed in the 1960s and now forms part of The Dava Way, a scenic footpath connecting the two towns.[10] The Inverness-Aberdeen down platform was also closed in the 1960s; although it still exists, it remains abandoned in-situ and its rail track and over-bridge have been removed.[11]

Inverness Airport is approximately 30 minutes away by road and provides links mainly to other airports across Britain.

Education[edit]

Sport[edit]

Forres has a host of various sporting activities within it including Forres Golf Course, which has held the Scottish Young Professionals championships a number of times.[12] It also plays host to Highland Football League team, Forres Mechanics and Junior club Forres Thistle. Forres also hosts the Official Moray 5-a-side Superleague which runs every week at Forres Community Centre.

Forres Harriers is the local running club with around 80 members.[13] The most famous Harrier is Don Ritchie who at one time held 14 World Best Times for ultra distance running events ranging from 50 km to 200 km.[14]

Forres has two swimming clubs - the long established Forres Bluefins, as well as the UK's only specialist sprint swimming club, Free Style SC.[15]

Since 2011 an annual Triathlon has been staged in Forres. It consists of a 400 metre pool swim, 14 km mountain bike ride (changed in 2014 to a road bike race) and 3.3 km run. It takes place at the end of June. Since 2013 it has been organised by the Moray Firth Triathlon Club.

Town twinning[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forres in Bloom" ForresinBloom.co.uk
  2. ^ "Scotland's Census Results Online" SCROl.gov.uk
  3. ^ "Mosset Tavern" "mossettavern.co.uk"
  4. ^ "The Carlton Hotel" "forresweb.net/carltonhotel"
  5. ^ "Benromach Distillery" "benromach.com"
  6. ^ "Forres Footpaths Trust" ForresFootpathsTrust.org.uk
  7. ^ "2010 Temperature". Greenpeace. 
  8. ^ "Kinloss 1971-2000 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 2 Nov 2011. 
  9. ^ "Kinloss Extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 2 Nov 2011. 
  10. ^ "Tourist Information — Walks and Cycling" Moray.gov.uk
  11. ^ "Network Rail Report" Transport Scotland
  12. ^ "Welcome to Forres Golf Club" ForresGolfClub.co.uk
  13. ^ "Welcome to the Forres Harriers Website" ForresHarriers.org.uk
  14. ^ "A Brief Club History" ForresHarriers.org.uk
  15. ^ "Welcome to our specialist sprint swimming club" "FreeStyleSC.org.uk"

External links[edit]