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small burgh (town) and seaport, Highland council area, historic county of Cromartyshire, historic region of Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, on a landlocked harbour. During the 17th century Cromarty became the chief burgh of the patchwork county of Cromartyshire, comprising the amalgamated estates of the earls of Cromarty, which included enclaves surrounded by Ross-shire on the west coast. In the late 18th century Cromarty was bought by George Ross, who improved the town by building a harbour and establishing various industries, including a brewery and cloth and lace factories. It declined economically when major road and rail routes bypassed it in the 19th century, but it is being developed as a conservation site-perhaps the best-preserved 18th-century town in the Highlands. Pop. (2001) 719.