Definitions for caithness
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Caithness is a registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area of Scotland. As registration county, lieutenancy area and historic local government area, Caithness has a land boundary with the equally historic local government area of Sutherland. Otherwise it is bounded by sea. The land boundary follows a watershed and is crossed by two roads, the A9 and the A836, and one railway, the Far North Line. Across the Pentland Firth ferries link Caithness with Orkney, and Caithness has also an airport at Wick. The Pentland Firth island of Stroma is within Caithness. The name was used also for the earldom of Caithness and the Caithness constituency of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Boundaries are not identical in all contexts, but the Caithness area is now entirely within the Highland council area. Caithness is one of the Watsonian vice-counties, subdivisions of Britain and Ireland which are used largely for the purposes of biological recording and other scientific data-gathering. The vice-counties were introduced by Hewett Cottrell Watson who first used them in the third volume of his Cybele Britannica published in 1852. He refined the system somewhat in later volumes, but the vice-counties remain unchanged by subsequent local government reorganisations, allowing historical and modern data to be more accurately compared. They provide a stable basis for recording using similarly-sized units, and, although grid-based reporting has grown in popularity, they remain a standard in the vast majority of ecological surveys, allowing data collected over long periods of time to be compared easily.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a level, except in the W. and S., bare, and somewhat barren, county in the NE. of Scotland, 43 m. by 28 m., with a bold and rocky coast; has flagstone quarries; fishing the chief industry, of which Wick is the chief seat; the inhabitants are to a great extent of Scandinavian origin, and English, not Gaelic, is the language spoken.
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