|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
|Scottish Gaelic: Baile Dhubhthaich|
Tain shown within the Highland council area
|OS grid reference|
|Lieutenancy area||Ross and Cromarty|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross|
|Scottish Parliament||Caithness, Sutherland and Ross|
The English name derives from the nearby River Tain, the name of which comes from an Indo-European root meaning 'flow'. The Gaelic name, Baile Dubhthaich, means 'Duthac's town', after a local saint also known as Duthus.
Tain railway station is on the Far North Line. The station is unmanned; in its heyday it had 30 staff. The station was opened by the Highland Railway on 1 January 1864. From 1 January 1923, the station was owned by the London Midland and Scottish Railway. Then in 1949 the British railways were nationalised as British Railways. When the railways were privatised the station became part of ScotRail.
Tain has two primary schools -Craighill (pupils - 274, April 2011) and Knockbreck (pupils - just under 120, April 2011) - and a secondary school called Tain Royal Academy with 500 pupils in summer 2014.
Tain was granted its first royal charter in 1066, making it Scotland's oldest Royal Burgh, commemorated in 1966 with the opening of the Rose Garden by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The 1066 charter, granted by King Malcolm III, confirmed Tain as a sanctuary, where people could claim the protection of the church, and an immunity, in which resident merchants and traders were exempt from certain taxes. These led to the development of the town.
Little is known of earlier history although the town owed much of its importance to Duthac. He was an early Christian figure, perhaps 8th or 9th century, whose shrine had become so important by 1066 that it resulted in the royal charter. The ruined chapel near the mouth of the river was said to have been built on the site of his birth. Duthac became an official saint in 1419 and by the late Middle Ages his shrine was an important places of pilgrimage in Scotland. King James IV came at least once a year throughout his reign to achieve both spiritual and political aims.
The early Duthac Chapel was the center of a sanctuary. Fugitives were by tradition given sanctuary in several square miles marked by boundary stones. During the First War of Scottish Independence, Robert the Bruce sent his wife and daughter to the sanctuary for safety. The sanctuary was violated and they were captured by forces loyal to John Balliol. The women were taken to England and kept prisoner for several years.
With conflict looming in the 1930s, an aerodrome large enough for bombers was built next to the town on low alluvial land known as the Fendom bordering the Dornoch Firth. It was home to British, Czech (311-th,Sqn.) and Polish airmen during World War II. It was abandoned as a flying location after the war and converted to a bombing range for the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. When British naval aviation moved from large fleet aircraft carriers, the role was taken over by the RAF. The Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) at Lossiemouth converted to an RAF base and the Tain range reverted to the RAF. Large parts of the original aerodrome were returned to civilian use after World War II and some are still accessible.
Sport facilities at Tain Royal Academy are an indoor 20-meter swimming pool, fitness suite, indoor hall, gymnasium and an outdoor Astrograss surface. Tain also has a tennis club, kempo club, bowling club and a golf course designed by Old Tom Morris. Tain Thistle Football Club play in the Ross-shire Welfare League in summer. Home matches are at Links park.
Local geographical and visitor features
The Gizzen Briggs are sandbars at the entrance to the Dornoch Firth, and with the right wind, they can be heard at low tide. The so-called "million dollar view" to the north-west of Tain, accessible via the A836 westward and B9176 Struie moor road, gives a panoramic view of Dornoch Firth and Sutherland.
Five important castles are in the vicinity - Carbisdale Castle, built for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland and now a youth hostel; Skibo Castle, once home of the industrialist Andrew Carnegie and now a hotel; Dunrobin Castle, ancestral seat of the Duke of Sutherland (castle and gardens open to the public); Balnagown Castle, ancestral seat of the Clan Ross, restored and owned by Mohammed Al Fayed; and Ballone Castle, restored by the owners of a local crafts business.
Highland Fine Cheeses, run by Ruaridh Stone (the brother of Liberal MSP Jamie Stone), have a factory at Blarliath Farm, Tain. Tain is also close to Glenmorangie distillery.
Tain has a library, community centre, two four-star hotels, a music shop, fast food outlets and a town hall.
Tain was a parliamentary burgh, combined with Dingwall, Dornoch, Kirkwall and Wick in the Northern 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. Cromarty was added to the list in 1832.
The constituency was a district of burghs known also as Tain Burghs until 1832, and then as Wick Burghs. It was represented by one Member of Parliament. In 1918 the constituency was abolished and Tain was merged into Ross and Cromarty.
- Saint Duthac was born here.
- John Ross (American patriot) was born here.
- Matthew Vickery the international journalist grew up here.
- Rev John Munro of Tain, the 17th century religious dissenter was a minister here.
- Peter Fraser the 24th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born in Hill of Fearn a village nearby Tain.
- Professor Thomas Summers West CBE,FRS an internationally acclaimed Analytical Chemist went to school at Tain Royal Academy 
- Taylor, Iain. Place-names of Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. p. 149. ISBN 978-1-78027-005-0.
- Iain Mac an Tailleir. "Placenames" (PDF). Pàrlamaid na h-Alba. Retrieved 2007-07-23.
- The Lion in the North, by John Prebble, Part III, ISBN 0-14-003652-0, Published - Martin Secker & Warburg 1971
- War Detectives. "Royal Air Force Tain". Retrieved 2008-04-01.
- "Home Page". Tain Golf Club. Retrieved 11 Apr 2011.
- "Obituary, Thomas Summers West" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburg. Retrieved 2012-06-20.