In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Inverness Shire like this:
Inverness-shire, maritime co. in NW. of Scotland; is bounded N. by Ross and Cromarty and the Inner moray Firth, NE. by Nairnshire and Elginshire, E. by Banffshire and Aberdeenshire, SE. by Perthshire, S. by Argyllshire, and W. by the Atlantic; area, 2,616,498 ac.; pop. 90,454. Inverness-shire is the largest county in Scotland. It consists of 2 portions, insular and mainland. The insular portion embraces the island of Skye, the St Kilda group, and the whole chain of the Outer Hebrides, except Lewis. ...
(See HEBRIDES.) The mainland portion - intersected NE. and SW. by Glen More nan Albin and the Caledonian Canal - consists almost entirely of mountain, loch, and glen. Ben Nevis (4406 ft.), in the SW., at Fort William, is the highest mountain in Great Britain. The principal lochs are Loch Ness, Loch Arkaig, Loch Lochy, Loch Laggan, and Loch Ericht. The W. coast is indented by Loch Hourn, Loch Nevis, and Loch Moidart. The principal rivers are the Spey, the Ness, and the Beauly, on all of which are valuable salmon fisheries. With the exception of the northern seaboard, the glens contain nearly all the fertile land, and only about one-twentieth of the total acreage is under tillage, all the rest being wood and forest, heath, and stony waste. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) There are nearly 300,000 ac. of deer forests, and about 1,700,000 ac. of heath, one-half of which affords pasturage for sheep; the other half serves only for grouse shooting. Inverness-shire is traversed by splendid military roads (constructed in the 18th century), by the Caledonian Canal, and in the N. and E. by the Highland Ry. The prevailing language is Gaelic. The county (insular and mainland) contains 26 pars. and parts of 10 others; the parl. and royal burgh of Inverness (part of the Inverness Burghs - 1 member), and the police burghs of fort William and Kingussie. It returns 1 member to Parliament.
Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Inverness Shire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Inverness Shire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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