Ormonde Castle site
The west end of the bay in which lies Avoch is flanked by Ormonde Hill. This is the site of an ancient castle where Andrew de Moray raised the Standard before traveling south to join William Wallace at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. His name is not nearly as well known as that of Wallace but letters sent to Hamburg and Lubeck list them both as “leaders of the Army of the Realm of Scotland”. In 1933 the Nationalist Party, together with locals, commemorated the Raising of the Standard – an event which has been repeated many times since. Wendy Woods unveiled a plaque there in 1980 but, as the hill was afforested, it became more difficult to find. In 1997 the site of the castle was cleared and the 700th anniversary was celebrated with a re-enactment staged by the White Cockade Society. A new cairn was erected and the area is now much more accessible and the Saltire can be seen from all parts of the village.
Avoch from Ormonde Hill
It can be appreciated from this photograph just why this village was chosen as a safe harbour by fishermen. It nestles below a circle of hills and has a burn running into the centre of the semi-circular bay. In times past this burn was accessible to boats at its lower reaches and so provided a good place of safety for them . As the burn is fed from upland springs it has never been known to run dry.
With the decline in fish stocks and the easy access to Inverness, fishing is no longer the sole occupation of the community but there are still local boats although most sail from the West Coast with their crews travelling to them.
In the foreground of the photograph is the Industrial Estate which houses the firm operating the fish farm that is now situated in the bay.