Summer 2022: Fyrish Monument

Fyrish Monument

A few weeks before our Summer 2022 holiday I came across an article about the Fyrish Monument which I had never heard of before. It looked intriguing: a prominent, strange structure in the hills above the A9. A quick look at the map suggested that a small detour would make this an ideal stop on our cross country journey from Ullapool to the Black Isle.

It’s a straightforward climb through woodland, and the views from the top over the Cromarty Firth and inland towards Ben Wyvis are tremendous.

But what actually is it? It was built in 1783 by the local laird, Sir Hector Munro – or rather, he commanded it to be built as he would not, of course, have dirtied his own hands. Munro had commanded the British Forces in India, when they defeated the Dutch at the Siege of Negapatam, a town in Madras. The pillars and arches of the monument are based on its gates, thus glorifying Munro’s achievement. However, they also acted as a kind of unemployment relief: this was the time of the Highland Clearances when many people were starving, having been removed from land that their families had worked for generations. There were no handouts: food had to be worked for, and Munro thought up this building project to employ the local destitute. It is said that he even rolled some of the stones downhill to give the labourers extra work bringing them back up again. I can’t make my mind up if that makes him a kind man or a monster!

Anyway, it was a lovely walk after which we continued our drive to our final destination, Cromarty in the Black Isle. More to follow …

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk.


  1. Hi Anabel – one of those true but odd quirks of Scottish life – how very odd – but I can believe it … sad times we lived in back then. How interesting in a stunning part of the world – I’m glad you brought it to our attention. Cheers Hilary


  2. Seen a photograph of it in the 1980s in the Scots Magazine ( at that time a hand sized booklet with finger sized photos, many in black and white) and that one caught the eye along with its history. Always wanted to go there along with the Black Rock of Novar gorge close by but never did as any trip with hill walking friends up that way involved bagging lists of hills and nothing else.
    If I wanted to see anything other than hills it was a solo effort and with the price of fuel nowadays I’m content to stay local at the moment. Luckily I’m happy with that.


  3. Ah, we have ‘find employment for the deserving poor’, monuments near here, our nearest being a mini- Stonehenge known as The Druid’s Temple’. The landowner even employed a resident ‘hermit’.


  4. A very unusual monument with some great views, and I like the story of Munro rolling the stones down the hill – at least his workers wouldn’t need to go to a gym for the exercise! 🙂


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