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Dingwall

Dingwall

Dingwall, town (1991 pop. 4,842), Highland, N Scotland, at the head of Cromarty Firth. It is the market town for eastern Ross and the Black Isle district.

Dingwall (Inbhir Pheofharain in Gaelic) is a town and former royal burgh in the highlands of Scotland. It formerly functioned as an east-coast port, but now lies inland. The town once boasted a small castle, the birthplace of Macbeth, and on its present-day outskirts lies another — Tulloch Castle, parts of which may date back to the 12th-century building.

Dingwall has had a railway station on what is now called the Far North Line since circa 1865. It also serves the Kyle of Lochalsh Line, with the junction between the two lines being located within the town.

Dingwall formerly served as the county town of the county of Ross and Cromarty. It lies near the head of the Cromarty Firth where the valley of the Peffery unites with the alluvial lands at the mouth of the Conon, northwest of Inverness.

Its English name, derives from the Scandinavian Þingvöllr (field or meeting-place of the thing, or local assembly—compare Tynwald, Tingwall, Thingwall in the British Isles alone, plus many others across northern Europe) preserves the Viking connections of the town; Gaels call it Inbhir Pheofharain meaning "the mouth of the Peffery").

The 18th-century town house, and some remains of the ancient mansion of the once powerful earls of Ross still exist. An obelisk, high, was erected over the grave of Sir George Mackenzie, 1st Earl of Cromartie, near the parish church of St Clement. It was affected by subsidence, becoming known as the "Leaning Tower", and was replaced by a much smaller replica in the early years of the 20th century. However even this is now marked by signs saying "Keep Out" on the grounds that it is a dangerous structure.

King Alexander II created Dingwall a royal burgh (pronounced the same as "borough") in 1226, and James IV renewed its charter. On the top of Knockfarrel (Gaelic, cnoc (hill); faire (watch or guard)), a hill about three miles (5 km) to the west, stands a large and very complete vitrified fort with ramparts.

More recently, Dingwall suffered widespread flooding during storms in late October 2006, during which the weather cut off much of the Highlands north of Inverness, including the A9 and Far North Line for a significant period of time.

Dingwall is the home of football team Ross County, who currently play in the Scottish First Division. Despite the town's small population, Ross County are able to attract sizable crowds to Victoria Park thereby maintaining the UK's most northerly full-time squad.

The Highland Theological College is located within the town. It is part of the UHI Millennium Institute and has been recently approved by the Church of Scotland for the training of ministers.

The town is unique in that it holds the shortest and most northerly canal, the Dingwall Canal, in the UK.

Dingwall is also host to a vibrant traditional music scene, being the home of Feis Rois and also Royal National Mod Gold Medalists; Norman Macarthur, Donald MacAskill, Fiona Mackenzie and Kirsteen Menzies.

Parliamentary burgh

Dingwall was a parliamentary burgh, combined with Dornoch, Kirkwall, Tain 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 the Dingwall component was merged into the county constituency of Ross and Cromarty.

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