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"TONGUE, a parish in county Sutherland, Scotland. It comprises the villages of Skianid, Torrisdale, and Kirkibol. It extends in length about 20 miles from N.E. to S.W., with an extreme breadth of 12 miles, and is bounded by the North Sea and by the parishes of Farr, Eddrachillis, and Durness. The surface is hilly, attaining an altitude of 1,345 feet at Ben Hatig, 3,060 feet at Ben Hope, and 2,508 feet at Ben Laighal. The parish is-watered by the rivers Borgie and Melness, with lochs Ullaboll, Laighal, Maddie, Slam, and numerous small lakes. The coast line extends about 10 miles, and is divided by the Kyle of Tongue, and indented by several small creeks and by Whiten Head, the principal promontory on this part of the coast. Off the shore lie Roan and Rabbit islands. The rocks consist chiefly of gneiss, mica schist, and black manganese. At Sculmony there is a sulphur spring. Seals frequent Fraisgill Cave, and fish abound in the neighbouring seas. In the woods are red deer, black game, eagles, hawks, and foxes. There is an extensive tract of moss land, which is cut for fuel. The village, which is about 42 miles N.W. of Dornock, is situated on the Kyle of Tongue, near Whiten Head, and was formerly called Kintail, signifying the "head of the Sea." The parish is traversed by two main lines of road-one following the coast to Thurso, the other passing direct through the country of Golspie. This parish is the seat of a presbytery in the synod of Sutherland and Caithness, and is in the patronage of the crown. The stipend of the minister is about £158. The parish church was erected in 1731, and restored in 1778. There are Free churches at Melness and Eriboll, also a parochial and two other schools, and a subscription library."

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)


Presbyterian / Unitarian
Tongue, Church of Scotland


Presbyterian / Unitarian
Tongue, Church of Scotland

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