Nairn was a general purpose county of Scotland, with the burgh of Nairn as the county town, until 1975, when, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the county area became one of the eight districts of the two-tier Highland region. The county of Nairn survived for registration purposes and, at the same time, the Nairn lieutenancy was defined as having the boundaries of the new district. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the local government district was merged into the unitary Highland council area.
The county, also known as Nairnshire, or Siorrachd Inbhir Narann in Gaelic, was described in 1846 as:
"about twenty-two miles in length and fifteen miles in breadth; comprising an area of 200 square miles, or 128,000 acres; 2338 houses, of which 2235 are inhabited; and containing a population of 9217."
The county consisted of the royal burgh of Nairn (chartered in 1476), the four parishes of Ardclach, Auldearn, Dyke & Moy and Nairn; and most of the parish of Cawdor, and parts of those of Croy & Dalcross, Moy & Dalarossie, Petty and Urquhart & Logie Wester.
The county acquired a county council in 1890, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, and, under the same legislation, boundaries were altered to make the county a single contiguous area.
Although the new boundaries were supposed to be valid for all purposes (unlike earlier boundaries, which were really default boundaries and not necessarily those used for any particular purpose), the burgh of Nairn, which had its own town council, retained autonomous status and was generally beyond the writ of the new county council. Also, use of the new boundaries for parliamentary elections was specifically excluded.
The county has always had a northern coastline on the Moray Firth. Until 1891 it had a number of exclaves in other counties, the most considerable of which was situated some distance away from the bulk of the county of Nairn, in the county of Inverness. Another sizable portion existed in the county of Ross, around the village of Urquhart, on the Black Isle. Other, smaller, detached parts (not shown on map due to their small size) existed in the county of Moray. Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, these detached parts became part of their host territorities.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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