Welcome to the historic town of Dingwall, the County Town of Ross & Cromarty, and to the Dingwall Heritage Trail!
The sea-going Vikings needed sheltered places out of the North Sea storms, with a ‘pool’ for laying up and beaching their vessels and a source of different timbers for repairs to keels, boards, masts. At Dingwall they found just what they needed.
What’s in a Name?
Even before it was created as a Royal Burgh in the year 1226, this place had long played a strategic role in the history of the Scottish Highlands, first with the Picts and then with the Vikings who settled in this area in the 11th century. They gave the place its name Dingwall—Þingvöllr in Old Norse—derived from the assembly field that Earl Thorfinn established here. Being located on the banks of the River Peffery and at its mouth into the Conon estuary, to Gaelic speakers this place has also always carried its older name of Inbhir Pheofharain.
At the Cross
You are standing by the early location of the Royal Burgh’s Mercat Cross: here where four vital routes meet – Hill Street the way from the south, Castle Street the way to Dingwall Castle, High Street the way towards north and west, and Ferry Road (once known by the Norse-derived name Broadpool) the way to and from the shore and ferries of the Cromarty Firth and Conon estuary. Later the cross was moved to the Town House on High Street, the spot at which many locals can still recall attending sales and other outdoor events “at the Cross”. It is now protected within Dingwall Museum.
See the booklist on www.dingwallmuseum.info.