The Mackay Country Parishes
26 square miles, including the islands of Handa and Scourie, is bounded on the west by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by Durness, south-east by Lairg and Creich, and south by Assynt. The coast, much indented by fiord-like lochs, consists of precipitous cliffs interspersed by sandy and shingle bays. Inland the land is hilly, dissected by glens, and rises to 2980 ft on Foinaven and 2863 on Ben Hee. The rocks are mainly of gnciss, bare and hummocky, red sandstone hills and some limestone. The Celtic name of this parish, Eadarda-chaolas, signifies "between two kyles or arms of the sea," and is descriptive of the situation of the main part of the parish between the kyle of Scow, which separates Eddrachillis from Assynt on the south, and the kyle of Laxford. Edderachillis was part of the barony of Skelbo. It was disposed by Hugo Freskyn de Moravia, ancestor of the Duke of Sutherland, 1186-1203, to his brother, Bishop Gilbert Moray, who in 1235 disposed it to his brother Richard Moray of Culbyn, the property changed hands two or three times more and finally in 1829 it was restored to the Sutherland family.
Nothing is known of Edderachillis as a parish, earlier than 1726, the date of its erection, except that, before that time, it formed part of the parish of Durness, and was disjoined on an application to the General Assembly by the heritor, Lord Reay, and Mr. John Mackay, minister of Durness, and endowed by a fund arising from the tithes, and a general subscription over Scotland. A native of this parish that is noteworthy is Lieutenant-General Hugh Mackay of Scourie, the famous Commander-in-Chief of the time of King William and Mary. He was born in 1640, fought against Dundee at the battle of Killicrankie, and fought in Ireland in the battle of Shannon.
A very large parish of 417 square miles, is bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the east by Caithness, on the south by Kildonan, Clyne, Rogar t and Lairg, and on the west by Eddrachiles, Durness and Tongue. The coast consists of cliffs and sandy bays. Near the coast there are many bare rocky outcrops. Inland the land is hilly culminating in the south at Ben Klibreck (3154 ft) and in the south-west in Ben Hee (2864 ft). The rocks are mainly schists of the Moine series, granite in Strath Halladale.