Visit Beauly and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Beauly, Highland. Traditionally the name of this town and that of the river on which it stands, as well as of the district, comes from the French words beau lieu. The tradition may well be correct, for the Frasers of Lovat, in whose country Beauly lies, were originally Normans; and they were, from the time of their first possession of land in Scotland, highly conscious of their French and aristocratic blood. They encouraged the use of Norman French amongst themselves even in the far places of the North.
The priory of Beauly was founded by Sir John Bisset of Lovat in 1230. All that remains of it now is a roofless shell of the church, some of which dates from the 13th century and other parts from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The ruins, which stand at the North end of the village, were allowed to fall into their state of decay after the Reformation.
About 4 miles South Southwest of Beauly stands Beaufort Castle, the seat of the Frasers of Lovat (the Lords Lovat). Their original residence was Castle Dounie, which had been built about 1400. This castle was destroyed by the Duke of Cumberland in 1746 after his victory over Prince Charles Edward Stuart at Culloden Moor; it is now a ruin in a terraced garden. The present Beaufort Castle was built in the Scots baronial style about 1880; there was a fire in 1936, after which a new wing was added.
The ruins of Dounie Castle, Beauly, and the Fraser country in general are much associated with the memory of Simon, Lord Lovat, who was executed on Tower Hill in 1747 for his participation in the Jacobite Rising of 1745. He is sometimes remembered as “Lovat of the '45”, and sometimes, because of his twistings and turnings and many political attitudes, as the “old fox of the '45”. He was an extraordinary character who was perhaps a throwback, being more of a princeling of the Italian States of the Renaissance than a Highland chief in 18th century Scotland. But in his ending he redeemed many of his faults.
We surely cannot withhold from the old man our admiration for the jocular bravery with which he met his death when he, the last peer to be executed for high treason in these islands, faced the headsman's axe.
“You'll get that nasty head of yours chopped off you ugly old Scotch dog,” screamed a Cockney woman at him in, the London crowds as he went to his end. His reply is remembered in our country with a Celtic relish. It is one for which we can forgive him much: “I believe I shall, you ugly old English bitch.”
Nearby cities: Inverness
Nearby towns: Alness, Dingwall, Fort William
Nearby villages: Avoch, Conon Bridge, Contin, Drumnadrochit, Kirkhill, Maryburgh, Muir of Ord, Strathpeffer
Have you decided to visit Beauly or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Beauly bed and breakfast (a Beauly B&B or Beauly b and b)
- a Beauly guesthouse
- a Beauly hotel (or motel)
- a Beauly self-catering establishment, or
- other Beauly accommodation