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Fort William - Glencoe Military Road, An T-innean Mor

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Fort William - Glencoe Military Road, An T-innean Mor

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) The Study; River Coe; Allt Coire Meannarchaclach

Canmore ID 286236

Site Number NN15NE 1.02

NGR NN 18809 56405

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/286236

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NN15NE 1.02 18809 56405

Photographed in 2007 as part of a survey 18th century military roads and to enhance and augment the existing holdings of the National Monuments Record Scotland.

Information from RCAHMS (DE), April 2007

Stone bridge carrying the Military Road over the Allt Coire Meannarclach.

No parapets with a curved arch opening.

Visited by RCAHMS (DE, AL), 20 April 2007.

Activities

Linear Account

MR 26. NN 0999 7373 to NN 2215 5632.

(See map sheets NN07SE, NN06NE, NN06NW, NN06SW, NN06SE, NN05NE, NN15NW, NN15NE and NN25NW).

According to Taylor (1976), the section of the Fort William to Stirling military road which incorporated the Devil's Staircase and the Lairig Mor was abandoned in 1785. The alternative route headed S along the coast via Onich, crossed Loch Leven by the ferry at Ballachulish and then continued E through Glencoe. Altogether 25 miles of road and eight bridges were constructed, at a cost of £750.

Haldane (1962 and 1973) reports that Dorothy Wordsworth, travelling at the beginning of the 19th century, found the coast road from Glencoe to Ballachulish excellent, but that Colonel Rickman, in 1814, referred to Ballachulish Ferry as one of the hazards of the military road system.

The road required much maintenance. The section in Argyllshire was handed over to the commissioners under the terms of the Road Repair Act of 1814, repairs to this sector amounting to a mere £4 per mile in 1815. Sheep were blamed by the commissioners in 1821 for the constant blocking of Glencoe due to torrents washing stones down on to the road. Their method of grazing was much more liable to cause erosion than that of the black cattle which they had supplanted during the Highland Clearances. A new road on the opposite side of the valley was constructed between Tyndrum to the E and Ballachulish in the 1930s.

The road diverts from the original Fort William to Stirling road (MR 8), commenced in 1748, and heads S down the coast on the line now taken by the A82 through map sheets NN07SE, NN06NE, NN06NW and NN06SW, as far as Onich. The road then heads E towards Ballachulish on map sheets NN06SE and NN05NE, crossing Loch Leven by ferry near Callert House. It continues E through map sheets NN15NW, NN15NE and NN25NW, sometimes in the form of a track running to the N or the S of the A82 and sometimes overlain by the modern road. At NN2215 5632 it links up with the original Fort William to Stirling military road (MR 8).

Information from OS (ES) 10 and 11 June 1974.

ARB Haldane 1962 and 1973; W Taylor 1976.

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