Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Caithness-shire

Caithness-shire, a maritime co., in the extreme NE. of the mainland of Scotland. The side adjoining Sutherlandshire measures about 33 miles; the coast on the Pentland Firth about 41 miles; and the coast on the North Sea about 43 miles; area, 438,878 ac.; pop. 38,865, or 57 persons to each square mile. The coast along the N. and partly on the E. is bold and precipitous; between Wick and the Ord of Caithness, in the SE., it is mostly low and sandy. The chief promontories are Duncansbay Head and Dunnet Head, the latter being the most northerly point of the mainland. The surface in general is slightly undulating, and is much interspersed with small lakes and tracts of morass. It rises into mountains along the landward border, the chief summit of which, Morven, has an alt. of 2313 ft. The streams are numerous, but small; the principal are the Berridale and the Wick Water, flowing to the North Sea, and the Thurso and the Forss, flowing to the Pentland Firth. Flagstone is extensively quarried for exportation. The soil, though generally poor, is well cultivated. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The coast fisheries are among the most important in the country; great quantities of herrings are annually cured and exported. The river Thurso is famed for its splendid salmon-fishing. There is railway communication to Thurso, in the extreme N. The co. comprises 9 pars. and part of 1 other, the parl. and royal burgh of Wick (part of the Wick Burghs -- 1 member), and the police burgh of Thurso. It returns 1 member to Parliament.

(John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a maritime county"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 2nd order divisions")
Administrative units: Caithness ScoCnty
Place: Caithness

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