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Fyrish Monument

Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Fyrish Monument

Classification Commemorative Monument (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Cnoc Fyrish; Gates Of Nagapatam

Canmore ID 13675

Site Number NH66NW 31

NGR NH 60766 69712

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Alness
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Ross And Cromarty
  • Former County Ross And Cromarty


Publication Account (1995)

A pleasant walk leading uphill through trees onto open moorland with magnificent views over the Cromarty Firth from beside the monument on the top of Cnoc Fyrish (453 m OD). This simulated ruin consists of nine massive circular columns built of mortared rubble, the centre four columns being linked by pointed arches, above which the wall finishes in curious stumpy battlements. The outer four columns are offset and incomplete, while a smaller and shorter column blocks the centre arch. The monument is set on the edge of the hill and can be seen from many miles away, looking like tiny teeth on top of the hill.

This unusual monument was erected by General Sir Hector Munro of Novar around 1783 as a relief work in a time of famine, and is believed by long-standing tradition to be a copy of the gates of the fortress of Negapatam on the Coromandel coast of India. 'There are ... some odd edifices on the summits which he is said to have designed as imitations of the hillforts in India' wrote the poet Southey in 1819. Sir Hector served in the army in India with distinction for many years. During the war between the British and Haidar Ali, the British attacked the Dutch settlement of Negapatam, then garrisoned by some thousands of Indian troops. It fell on the 11th November 1781 to a combined force of soldiers commanded by Major-General Sir Hector Munro and a naval detachment under Sir Edward Hughes, an event which destroyed Dutch power in the area, while the British captured much needed supplies of currency, artillery and horses.The monument is loosely based on Indian architecture in the shape and arrangement of its three arches, which resemble those in the gateway at Seringapatam, though not in the battlements above, and it is entirely plausible that Sir Hector designed and built it to commemorate his great victory.

Sir Hector also repaired the chapter house of Fortrose Cathedral (no. 61) and as MP for the Inverness group of burghs helped to build the Town Steeple (no. 1).

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Highlands’, (1995).


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