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Glen Galmadale, Fish Ladder

Fish Ladder (19-20th Century)

Site Name Glen Galmadale, Fish Ladder

Classification Fish Ladder (19-20th Century)

Canmore ID 290983

Site Number NM85NE 5.01

NGR NM 86764 54018

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Ardgour
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Architecture Notes

NM85NE 5.01 centered 86764 54018

Glen Galmadale Dam is a huge reinforced concrete structure situated at the bottom of the glen between Beinn Na Cille to the W and Druim na Maodhalach to the E, approx 2km N of Camas na Croise Bay on the N shores of Loch Linnhe. Water from the dam feeds into the Glengalmadale River which discharges into the Loch to the S.

The dam, fish ladder and associated works were designed by Malloch of Perth and constructed by MacDougalls of Oban during 1908-10 for George Herbert Strutt of Belper, Derbyshire, who was the proprietor of the Kingairloch Estate. The cost of the works was approximately £6,000.

The purpose of the dam was to create a loch for fishing and to encourage salmon and sea trout into the loch by way of an elaborate concrete fish ladder. It was hoped that the creation of a large freshwater loch and associated fishing would boost the Estate's income. However, due to a design fault that led to excessive overflows during heavy rainfall which washed away parts of the earthworks, the dam was not a success. Despite the construction of a second, smaller dam with sluice gates further up the Glengalmadale river, in an attempt to stem the natural river torrents, the dam and fish ladder still failed to function properly. A lack of significant repair and maintenance of the structures in recent years has exacerbated the problems leaving the loch almost dry in the summer months.

Information from Mr Hugh Lucas, Agregate Industries Ltd to Historic Scotland, September 2007.


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