Today Muir of Ord is a mostly quiet spot, busy in the summer months with visitors. It was once a thriving market town for cattle being driven down to markets south from the Highlands of Scotland.
In the 17th Century Muir of Ord was the location of a heinous murder – a robbery gone wrong. This story has several versions and is commemorated in the town with a memorial cairn.
The story goes back to around the 17th century when Ian Dubh a Ghiuthais, known as Black John of the Fir, an ancestor of the MacKenzies of Ord, is said to have taken umbrage at the Laird of Tarradale and resolved to do him an injury. He proceeded at midnight with a band of gillies to Tarradale and stole their millstones. Making off with their spoil, they overtook a wandering harper near where the Tarradale Hotel now stands and, lest he should give away any information about what he had seen, they cruelly murdered him on the spot.
It is said they buried him in a field nearby with his harp lying at his feet. A cairn was erected to the memory of the harper around the area of the Tarradale Hotel but has long since gone. Ross and Cromarty Heritage
The Cairn which is located in the centre of the town is a replica of the War Memorial.
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