Coordinates: 57°36′29″N 3°37′12″W / 57.608°N 3.620°W / 57.608; -3.620
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Forres Tolbooth
Forres is located in Moray
Location within Moray
Population9,900 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNJ034578
• Edinburgh116 mi (187 km)
• London444 mi (715 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townFORRES
Postcode districtIV36
Dialling code01309
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°36′29″N 3°37′12″W / 57.608°N 3.620°W / 57.608; -3.620

Forres (/ˈfɒrɪs/; Scottish Gaelic: Farrais) is a town and former royal burgh in the north of Scotland on the Moray coast, approximately 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Inverness and 12 miles (19 km) west of Elgin. Forres has been a winner of the Scotland in Bloom award on several occasions.[2] There are many geographical and historical attractions nearby such as the River Findhorn, and there are also classical, historical artifacts and monuments within the town itself, such as Forres Tolbooth and Nelson's Tower. Brodie Castle, the home of the Brodie Clan, lies to the west of the town, close to the A96.

A list of suburbs in the town of Forres contains: Brodie, Dalvey, Mundole, Laichmurchie and Springdale.

Pre-history and archaeology[edit]

Between 2002 and 2013 some 70 hectares of land was investigated by archaeologists in advance of a proposed residential development on the southern fringes of the town. They found an extensive Iron Age settlement and evidence that people lived in the area from the Neolithic (radiocarbon dates from the 4th to the mid-3rd millennium BC were found) to the Early Historic period (they found radiocarbon dates from the 9th–12th centuries AD, around the time that historical records began). The Iron Age settlement had a souterrain and metalworking furnaces, and they found Neolithic and Bronze Age ceramics and cup-marked rock art. The excavation of a souterrain in Moray is quite rare; only one other souterrain had been excavated in Moray before this one.[3]


The earliest written reference to Forres may be the Οὐάραρ εἴσχυσις (Ouárar eíschysis, 'Varar Estuary') mentioned in the second century Geography of Claudius Ptolemy.[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 (6.1 m) tall and encased in glass structure to protect it from the elements and graffiti. Sueno's Stone translates to Sven's Stone. It dates from AD 850 to AD 950.[5]

A royal castle was present 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 the Wolf of Badenoch in 1390.[6]

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.[7]

Brodie Castle, which was commissioned by Brodie family in 1567, lies to the west of the town.[8]

William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, first performed in 1606, locates Duncan's castle in Forres, and the Three Witches meet on moorland near the town in the third scene of the drama.[9]

The Dallas Dhu distillery, established in 1898, lies just south of the town; although no longer producing, the distillery is maintained in working order by Historic Environment Scotland.[10] Benromach Distillery, also established in 1898, is located just north of the Forres bypass and is an active distillery with a visitors' centre.[11]

The Findhorn Foundation, an intentional community, was established in the town in the 1940s.[12] The former RAF Forres, established during the Second World War, is located nearby.[13]

In January 2016, Glasgow School of Art established a campus in the town which focuses on design and innovation.[14]


The population of Forres expanded in the 20th century and was over 12,000 in 2011.[15]

Geography and economy[edit]

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. Local bars and pubs include The Newmarket, The Red Lion (known locally as "The Beastie") The Mosset Tavern,[16] Legends, Captain Sid's, and The Carlton Hotel.[17]

Parliamentary burgh[edit]

Forres Town Hall

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. Forres Town Hall, originally built as a masonic hall and later used as a mechanics institute before becoming a municipal building, was completed in 1829.[18]

Notable residents[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 Met Office weather station for which online records are available is Kinloss, about 3 miles (5 km) 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.[28]

Climate data for Kinloss 5 m (16 ft) asl, 1971-2000, extremes 1960- (Weather station 3 mi (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
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Average low °C (°F) 0.6
Record low °C (°F) −15.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 55.4
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[29]
Source 2: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[30]


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. A new, dual carriageway A96 bypass is planned by the Scottish Government.[31]

Forres railway station is situated just outside the town and is operated by 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. 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.[32]



A number of Christian churches have a presence in Forres, including:

Church of Scotland

  • St Laurence Church, High Street[36]
  • St Leonard's Church, High Street[37]

Scottish Episcopal Church

  • St John's Church, Victoria Road[38]

Roman Catholic Church

  • St Margaret's Church, High Street[39]

Baptist Union of Scotland

  • Forres Baptist Church, Clovenside Road[40]


Forres has various sporting activities within it including Forres Golf Course, which has held the Scottish Young Professionals championships a number of times.[41]

Forres St. Lawrence is the local cricket club.[42] They are full members in both senior and reserve competitions in the area.[43]

Forres Harriers is the local running club with around 80 members.[44] 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.[45]

Forres has two swimming clubs - the long established Forres Bluefins, as well as the UK's only specialist sprint swimming club, Free Style SC.[46]

Forres hosted the first race of the World Orienteering Championships 2015 on Friday 31 July, when the Sprint Qualification event was held there. Two days later on 2 August it hosted the Sprint Final event.[47]

Town twinning[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Forres in Bloom"
  3. ^ "Vol 61 (2016): Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the North-east of Scotland: Excavations at Grantown Road, Forres 2002-2013 | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  4. ^ "The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy". Dover Publications. 1991.
  5. ^ "Statement of Significance: Sueno's Stone". Edinburgh: Historic Environment Scotland. 2015. p. 4.
  6. ^ Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. W. Blackwood. 1884. p. 5.
  7. ^ Shaw, Lachlan (1882). The History of the Province of Moray, Comprising the Counties of Elgin and Nairn, the Greater Part of the County of Inverness and a Portion of the County of Banff, all Called the Province of Moray Before There was a Division Into Counties. Vol. 3. Hamilton, Adams & Company. p. 72.
  8. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Brodie Castle (Category A Listed Building) (LB2260)". Retrieved 7 March 2019.
  9. ^ Rosenblum, Joseph (2019). All the World's a Stage: A Guide to Shakespearean Sites. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. pp. 204–205. ISBN 978-1538113813.
  10. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Dallas Dhu distillery (Category A Listed Building) (LB8689)". Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Benromach Distillery" ""
  12. ^ The Dictionary of Alternatives: Utopianism and Organization, by Martin Parker, Valerie Fournier, Patrick Reedy. Zed Books, 2007. ISBN 1-84277-333-X. Page 100.
  13. ^ "Forres". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 13 September 2022.
  14. ^ "GSA Highlands and Islands". Institute of Design Innovation. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
  15. ^ "Scotland's Census Results Online" Archived 2012-03-07 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Mosset Tavern" Archived 20 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine ""
  17. ^ "The Carlton Hotel" Archived 2010-04-30 at the Wayback Machine ""
  18. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Town Hall, High Street, Forres (LB31643)". Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  19. ^ a b Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.
  20. ^ Bettany, George Thomas (1885–1900). "Falconer, Hugh" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  21. ^ Corley, T.A.B. (2008). "Grant, Sir Alexander". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50413. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  22. ^ "Charles Henry Lumley". VC Online. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  23. ^ "James McIntyre". Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  24. ^ Scott, James, Who was Who, Oxford University Press, 2007
  25. ^ Martin, Joseph E. (2017). "Titans". Canada's History. 97 (5): 47–53. ISSN 1920-9894.
  26. ^ "James Taylor". Royal College of Physicians. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  27. ^ "On this day in 1990: Flower of Scotland composer Roy Williamson dies". 12 August 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  28. ^ "2010 Temperature". Greenpeace. 22 December 2010.
  29. ^ "Kinloss 1971-2000 averages". Met Office. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  30. ^ "Kinloss Extremes". KNMI. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  31. ^ "Project details". Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  32. ^ "Tourist Information — Walks and Cycling"
  33. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "High Street, Anderson's Primary School, (front Block Facing High Street Only) Gatepiers and Railings - Forres - Moray - Scotland (LB31676)". Retrieved 5 May 2012.
  34. ^ "Forres Academy". Scottish Schools Online. September 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  35. ^ "About us". Drumduan School. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  36. ^ "St Laurence's Parish Church, Forres - Forres, Grampian - Places of Worship in Scotland | SCHR". Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  37. ^ "About St Leonard's Church". 11 May 2020. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  38. ^ "St John's Episcopal Church, Forres - Forres, Grampian - Places of Worship in Scotland | SCHR". Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  39. ^ "St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church, Forres - Forres, Grampian - Places of Worship in Scotland | SCHR". Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  40. ^ "Forres Baptist church home". Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  41. ^ "Welcome to Forres Golf Club"
  42. ^ "Welcome to The Saints FaceBook page"
  43. ^ "NoSCA League Page" Archived 2016-03-26 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ "Welcome to the Forres Harriers Website"
  45. ^ "A Brief Club History"
  46. ^ "Welcome to our specialist sprint swimming club" ""
  47. ^ "World Orienteering Championships 2015"

External links[edit]