"NAIRNSHIRE, a maritime Co. in the NE. of Scotland, bounded N. by the Moray Firth, E. by Elginshire, and S. and W. by Inverness-shire; consists of a main body and 5 detached portions, 3 of which are in Elginshire, 1 in Inverness-shire, and 1 in Ross and Cromarty; the main body has an extreme length, N. and S., of 18 miles, and an average breadth, E. and W., of 11 miles; the coast, which is flat and sandy, has an extent of 10 miles; area, 127,905 ac.; pop. 10,455. The low ground near the coast is fertile and well-wooded, the soil consisting of a rich free loam over sand or gravel. The surface gradually rises thence into mountains in the S. Granite is abundant, and is quarried. The rivers are the Nairn and the Findhorn. Agriculture and the fisheries are the chief industries. The county comprises 3 pars. and 7 parts, and the parl. and royal burgh of Nairn (Inverness Burghs). It unites with Elginshire in returning 1 member to Parliament."
[Bartholemew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]