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Avoch (/ˈɒx/ (About this soundlisten) OKH; from the Scottish Gaelic: Abhach – meaning mouth of the stream) is a harbour-village located on the south-east coast of the Black Isle, on the Moray Firth.[3]

Avoch is located in Highland
Location within the Highland council area
Population891 [1] (2001 census)
est. 1,000[2] (2006)
OS grid referenceNH699553
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAVOCH
Postcode districtIV9 8xx
Dialling code01381 62
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°34′10″N 4°10′31″W / 57.569327°N 4.175335°W / 57.569327; -4.175335Coordinates: 57°34′10″N 4°10′31″W / 57.569327°N 4.175335°W / 57.569327; -4.175335
Avoch harbour
Looking back east to Avoch from the harbour

Ormond Castle or Avoch Castle was a stronghold built on the site and served as a royal castle to William the Lion; passed on to the Morays of Petty then Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway, upon his marriage to Joanna de Moravia in 1362. Descendants of Archibald, were to take the title of Earl of Ormonde from the castle. Legend has it that the village was founded by survivors of the Spanish Armada.

Avoch was in the control of David Chalmers, Lord Ormond from 1560/61 but he forfeited his castle and control of Avoch in 1568 when he was exiled due to his part in assisting the escape of Mary Queen of Scots. The castle and village then passed to Andrew Munro of Milntown.[4]

Intrepid Scottish-Canadian explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the first European to explore the great Canadian river now known as the Mackenzie River, crossing North America twice, to the Arctic Ocean in 1789 and Pacific Ocean in 1793, retired to Avoch in 1812 where he died in 1820 and was buried in the old Avoch Parish churchyard.

Avoch was the location of Rosehaugh (Pittanochtie) House, an imposing mansion house until it was demolished in 1959. A substantial house existed on this site since 1790.

Craigie Well at Avoch on the Black Isle has offerings of both coins and clouties. Rags, wool and human hair were also used as charms against sorcery, and as tokens of penenace and fulfilment of a vow (Sharp 1998).

Much of Avoch's wealth has come from its fishing industry, and it remains a significant contributor to the village economy, with several large fishing boats owned or crewed from Avoch and an active fishermen's co-operative based there. The harbour is no longer used by the larger boats for landing but is used by leisure craft and boats taking visitors to see the dolphins in the inner Moray Firth at Chanonry Point. In addition to the fishing industry, commuting to Inverness and tourism provide income to the village. Lazy Corner, named for the youngsters who gathered there to pass the time, has been moved by the road widening in the Eighties, and spruced up by a sculpture intended to add character to the village. It is still a gathering place.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Avoch Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2010-01-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Microsoft; Nokia (23 March 2017). "Avoch" (Map). Bing Maps. Microsoft. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
  4. ^ ODNB: David Chambers, Lord Ormond

External linksEdit