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Ballachulish, Rudha Na Glas-lice, Slate Workers' Boat Sheds

Boathouse(S) (19th Century)

Site Name Ballachulish, Rudha Na Glas-lice, Slate Workers' Boat Sheds

Classification Boathouse(S) (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Leven

Canmore ID 108828

Site Number NN05NE 27

NGR NN 08208 58591

NGR Description Centred NN 08208 58591

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Lismore And Appin (Lochaber)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Recording Your Heritage Online

Rudha na Glas-Lice (point of the grey flat rock)

Slate workers' boat houses and sheds (some in pairs), c.1860s, shingled with Ballachulish slate quarry refuse, their roofs of large slate slabs. (Others can still be seen east of the village.)

[`It is calculated that a 'crew' [of 4 slaters] might be able to quarry one hundred and four thousand slates in a year' (William Daniell, 1818). Wagons of slate from the working face were conveyed on a tramway to the lochside, where they were then split into required thicknesses.]

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NN05NE 27 centred 08208 58591

For (associated) Ballachulish slate quarries, see NN05NE 9.00.

Architecture Notes

NN05NE 27 centred 08208 58591

Huts located at NN 08171 58603, NN 08187 58598, NN 08203 58586, NN 08211 58590, NN 08214 58597, NN 08213 58611 and NN 08212 586 58628.

Site Management (30 October 2013)

Group of boat houses (now also used as tool sheds), comprising single, double and triple units, accommodating 11 boats in total. Constructed organically out of blue-grey Ballachulish slate shingle, emerging from man-made harbour banks, themselves created out of quarry refuse. Roughly squared slates laid according to dry-stone technique in horizontal courses forming thick side walls; simple boarded 2-leaf timber doors and over-door panels; mono-pitched roofs of large squared slate slabs laid flat in horizontal and vertical 'crossed' courses: one roof (easternmost boat house) re-slated to a different pattern, in even horizontal courses. One single boat house roofless (1992).

Listed for interest of use of materials and for historic significance of the Ballachulish slate quarries, which began operations from circa 1760. The 1870 map shows 8 boat houses on this site; further boat houses shown to the E of Rudha na - glas lice (='point/headland of the grey flat rock/stone'), and to W (at Cnap an Tairbh, listed separately); it also shows the transport system from the quarries to the S (now cut off from the Lochside by the A82), a tramway running around the circumference of the quarries leading to and from the Lochside to the E of this site. Groome describes this system: iron waggons were, "conveyed on 'lines' along the banks formed by the refuse, and laid down at little sheds, where they are, by one man, split up to the required thickness, and by another, cut into shape, after which they are ready for export.. there are five different descriptions of slate made, viz, queens, duchesses, countesses, sizables, and undersized." (1895, Groome p.112). (Historic Scotland)


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