Old Ordnance Survey Maps of Highland Council area

This page summarises the local government organisation of Highland Council area since 1890.

  • Caithness, Cromarty, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross-shire and Sutherland were six of Scotland's historic counties until 1890.
  • Cromarty comprised more than twenty enclaves, scattered from west to east coast, within Ross-shire. Some even had enclaves of Ross-shire inside them In a general reorganisation in 1890 Cromarty was merged with Ross-shire into one county, Ross & Cromarty. The county town was Dingwall.
  • Inverness-shire also took over the northern tip of Argyllshire, including the Small Isles and there was some alteration of boundaries.
  • The five counties then remained independent until 1975.
  • In 1890 Caithness had the following burghs: Wick (royal burgh), Thurso.
  • Inverness-shire had the following burghs: Inverness (royal burgh), Fort William, Kingussie.
  • Nairnshire had the following burghs: Nairn (royal burgh).
  • Ross & Cromarty had the following burghs: Dingwall (royal burgh), Fortrose (royal burgh), Tain (royal burgh), Cromarty, Invergordon, Stornoway.
  • Sutherland had the following burghs: Dornoch (royal burgh).
  • In 1975 there was major reorganisation as the counties were abolished and replaced by 12 Regions. Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross & Cromarty and Sutherland were merged into Highland Region.
  • Beneath the region in a two-tier structure were 8 Districts: Badenoch & Strathspey, Caithness, Inverness, Lochaber, Nairnshire, Ross & Cromarty, Skye & Lochalsh, Sutherland.
  • Most of the islands were transferred from Inverness-shire and Ross-shire to a new region, The Western Isles..
  • In 1996 there was further reorganisation as the Regions and Districts were abolished and replaced by 32 unitary councils. Highland then became a unitary authority.
  • For a list of Highland maps go to the Highland page. For a full list of Scottish maps, return to the Scotland page
  • You can order maps direct from our On-line Mapshop.
    Minor changes are not listed here, but please advise us of any significant errors or omissions.
    Alan Godfrey Maps, Prospect Business Park, Leadgate, Consett, DH8 7PW. Tel 01207 583388
    The Godfrey Edition / sales@alangodfreymaps.co.uk / 18 November 2016