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Cromarty Arts Trust


'The best-preserved historic town in the Highlands'

The story of Cromarty is written in its architecture - in its huddled fishermen's cottages and grand merchants' houses. With an astonishing 209 listed buildings in the town, ten of them A-listed, a short walk around this compact little community offers a range of architectural delights from a lighthouse built by the uncle of Robert Louis Stevenson, to a medieval parish church and the thatched cottage birthplace of 19th century geologist Hugh Miller.

Cromarty was a Royal Burgh in the 13th century, trading in the products of the sea and the surrounding countryside. Fishing became increasingly important, and by the 17th century Cromarty had become a major centre for the export of salt fish. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, Cromarty was a major port, rivaling Inverness, importing hemp from the Baltic to be woven in a factory by the shore as well as exporting the produce of the farms on the fertile Black Isle. Population peaked in the 1830s at over 2,000.

This prosperity did not last. By-passed by the railway, with the great shoals of herring a distant memory, Cromarty fell into a decline. There was virtually no new building in the Victorian era, and by 1971 the population had dropped below 500. Then came North Sea oil, plus improved transport links with Inverness, and artists, craftspeople and website designers as well as oil rig builders moved in to renovate the derelict cottages and crumbling mansions.

Now Cromarty is firmly on the map of discerning tourists, who come to visit  Hugh Miller’s cottage and the award-winning Courthouse Museum, or just to wander the vennels of the Fishertown and explore the woodland paths on the South Sutor.

Cromarty Arts Trust

Cromarty Arts Trust was established in 1987

Aims and objectives

  • To support the conservation of buildings of historical or architectural importance

  • To promote the advancement of education

  • To encourage the conservation of natural features, landscape, ecology and character of the area

  • To stimulate public interest in the history, character, beauty and wildlife of the area

  • To nurture artistic activity, locally nationally and internationally.

In pursuance of these aims we have raised over £1 million for the following purposes:

Restoration and conversion of three architecturally important buildings in Cromarty

The Brewery, restored in 1989 and now operated as the Old BreweryThe Stables  a Listed Grade A building restored in 1995; and Ardyne, a fine example of a merchant’s house restored in 1994.


Contact Details: Cromarty Arts Trust
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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - click cover for details
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The Cromarty Suite