is the capital of Moray and is situated on the A96 Inverness to Aberdeen
Road, around 40 miles east of Inverness and 70 miles west of Aberdeen.
Elgin has been the principal town of Moray for over eight centuries,
having received its charter in 1236.
The town actually first came into being around
the 10th century and was originally named Helgyn after the Norse
general who founded the town. It was one of the most important centres
of mediaeval Scotland, the seat of the great bishopric of Moray,
and its' long history is recalled by the numerous historic buildings
and sites within its bounds.
Elgin was one of the first Royal Burghs in Scotland
and was granted this status by David I in the early 12th century.
The town was originally a market town and is the administrative
and educational centre of Moray. The location of Elgin played a
significant part in the earliest stories of Scotland.
town was built in an ideal location for defence protected by the
River Lossie and the mound at Ladyhill which provided a natural
defensive lookout post. A castle was built there but this only lasted
until around 1297.
Set in an area with a reasonably good climate
and fertile soil the countryside round about is rich with game and
ideal for agriculture, which is one of the main industries in the
area along with distilling, wool milling and, in the earlier days
fishing.Most of the main buildings in Elgin were actually erected
in the early 18th century after the end of the Jacobite risings.
However a few of the earlier built structures still remain such
as Braco's Banking House (1684), Alexander Leslies 17th century
tower and Thunderton House built in the 16th century.
lot of the really early buildings, such as the first cathedral were
destroyed in 1390 by Alexander Stewart, better known as the Wolf
of Badenoch. In the 1800s the original Dr Grays Hospital was built
as was the Elgin Institution. In the mid 19th century the railway
was built and the burgh almost doubled in size. Today it is a busy
town with modern amenities, including good shopping with the St
Giles shopping centre opened and other big name, national retailers
opening shops there. There is also a lot of entertainment available
in the town with a new leisure centre and ice rink, bowling alley,
cinema and plenty of pubs and clubs. Nowadays the town has a population
of around 20,000 compared with only 4000 at the beginning of the
19th century and it continues to thrive and expand.