Edderton is City/Area of Highlands, Latitude: 57.8331, Longitude: -4.17616

Edderton Parish Church   Edderton is a tiny hamlet on the south shore of the inner Dornoch Firth some five miles north west of Tain.

Edderton Parish Church
Edderton is a tiny hamlet on the south shore of the inner Dornoch Firth some five miles north west of Tain. Since the building of the Dornoch Firth Bridge to the east in the 1980s, the main A9 from Inverness north to Wick and Thurso no longer passes the southern end of Edderton, taking much of the through traffic with it.

Though in a sense Edderton has always been slightly bypassed. Even when the A9 swept round through Tain and then up to Bonar Bridge, much of the long distance traffic shaved a few miles off the long haul north by taking the high road from Alness to Bonar Bridge, the B9176, which descends to meet the Dornoch Firth some way west of Edderton.

And local traffic north from Tain could save over 20 miles by using the Meikle Ferry which operated on a line just to the west of the later bridge. It’s even been bypassed by the railway, on which it had a station until 1960. Now the trains north simply pass through.

Edderton has probably been settled for several thousand years. In a field nearly opposite the Edderton Hotel is a standing stone thought to have been set up before 1000BC. A later group of residents later left their mark on it: Pictish symbols were added in the years around AD800.

Edderton’s Old Parish Church was built on a site about a mile to the east of the village in 1743, and a Pictish cross slab in the graveyard suggests this was a place of worship from a very early date.

By the 1700s Edderton was known for its brewing and distilling, and for its smuggling. The first legal brewery was founded in 1749, though this was converted to become Balblair Distillery in 1790. The distillery that today overlooks the main line railway was built here in 1870 to replace the original distillery. Today’s Blablair Distillery is part of the Inver House group and doesn’t have a visitor centre.

If Edderton can be said to have a centre, it’s the crossroads on the A836 overlooked by the war memorial. On another corner is what looks like a bus shelter, but turns out to be a heather hut thatched by local schoolchildren in 1993.

Close to the junction is the grand Parish Church built to accommodate 1000 parishioners in 1842 when its predecessor proved too small. The following year there was a schism in the Church of Scotland and most of the congregation followed the Free Church Minister back to the Old Parish Church.


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