Yesterday evening (Tuesday 23rd November 2021) saw the latest in a series of talks, held at Stratherrick hall and hosted by the South Loch Ness Heritage group. The evening’s speaker was Roland Spencer-Jones from the North of Scotland Archaeological society (NoSas) and the subject was Stories from the Lovat estate maps, maps, mapmakers and mapmaking.It was heartening, despite the inclement weather and necessary covid measures to see a good turnout. It was especially pleasing to see some of the younger members of the community in attendance. Hopefully they found the talk of interest.Roland’s talk was delivered with enthusiasm and not a little humour. He described his discovery in the Lovat estate office of some 395 maps dating between 1757 and 1890, how he catalogued them and with assistance from the National Library of Scotland and some stalwart volunteers, the maps were digitised and made available on-line to everyone.With a particular focus on Stratherrick, Roland spoke about the surveyors who made the maps and the challenges they faced. He described the reasons why maps were, prior to the formation of the Ordnance survey produced and how mapmaking evolved over this period from what were little more than pictures with only a passing resemblance to the country it described to the kind of cartographical images with which we are familiar today.The final part of the talk became a little more hands on. Roland produced a selection of items which would have been used by the surveyors who produced the maps. The use of chains, for calculating distance and cross poles for ensuring straight lines and accurate 90 degree angles were demonstrated with assistance from audience members.Roland closed his talk with a cri de Coeur. One map was found missing from the Lovat estate archive, that map is the 1757 map of Stratherrick by Peter May. Roland asked if anyone came across it, stored in an attic of under their bed could they let him know as it was a national treasure.Having finished speaking Roland was thanked by Bob Main, Chairman of the South Loch Ness Heritage group for a most entertaining evening.