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B8040

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B8040
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (2)
From:  Laggan (NN299981)
To:  Aberchalder (NH341034)
Distance:  4.5 miles (7.2 km)
Met:  A82, A82
Now part of:  Great Glen Way Footpath
Traditional Counties

Inverness-shire

Route outline (key)
B8040 Laggan - Aberchalder

History

The B8040 followed the shore of Loch Oich, on the opposite side to the A82. However, if you walk this road today, you would be hard pushed to believe that it was ever a classified road. It is thoroughly overgrown, and almost impassable in places, despite some of it being part of the Great Glen Way/Cycleway alternative route around Loch Oich.

The road's history originates with General Wade and his assignment to build military roads across the Highlands to facilitate the movement of troops; however, fifty years later when Thomas Telford arrived to build roads in the Highlands to facilitate the movement of the population, he passed Loch Oich on the opposite shore - through the village of Invergarry. This road somehow survived to be classified (although it is not mentioned in the 1922 Road Lists and so must have been classified in the late 1920s) - indicating that it was still a passable and presumably well-used route. Indeed, the 1939 Bartholomew's map suggests that it survived the mass-renumbering of 1935 too. However, it is now just a rough track along the loch shore - perhaps it was never anything more.

The only OS map known to mark the B8040 is the 1932 OS Ten Mile Map, but by the 1936 sheet the B8040 is no longer marked. Although the route was never numbered on the OS One Inch maps, it is still shown as a main road (red) in the early 1940s, and remained a coloured minor route (orange) on the 1949 sheet. However, by 1956 it is uncoloured (white), suggesting a very minor road or track, which is how the OS continue to depict it today. This suggests that, unlike most other classified roads, it was not tarred in the late 1930s, which is certainly the appearance when walked today. Although the only station was at the south end of the B8040, the presence of the parallel Invergarry and Fort Augustus Railway may have had an influence on the decision to number the route, and subsequently downgrade it - the railway survived haphazardly until 1933 for passengers.

Route

The former B8040 just past the Great Glen Holiday Park

The route startes at the Great Glen Waterpark just south of the Laggan Bridge across the Caledonian Canal, and followed their driveway. Indeed, when the new swing bridge was opened for the A82, the old swing bridge immediately to the north is shown as being part of a forked end to the B8040. The Great Glen Way (GGW) actually climbs up to the old station, and follows the railway line to start with, as the old road is very close to the shore - Loch Oich's water level was raised slightly when the Canal was built (again by Telford) in the early 19th century to increase the depth for bigger boats. The old road, however, passes through the park and leaves on the loch shore at the far end. In places the water laps at the edge of the road (left), but then it climbs up away from the waters edge, and is an overgrown path below the railway until the GGW drops down to the road. There is only one property along the whole road between Laggan and Aberchalder - a derelict cottage at Leitirfearn.

Beyond that, the road climbs steeply over the old railway line, and then runs along above the cutting. At Aberchalder, the road bypasses the estate buildings and crosses the River Chalder on a modern bridge. Presumably this is a replacement for what must have originally been a stone-arch structure. This end of the route is not all private property, but the route terminated as the estate drive, meeting the A82 at a sharp fork on the corner.




B8040
Related Pictures
View gallery (2)
B8040.jpgB8040-oich1.jpg
B8000 – B8099
B8000 • B8001 • B8002 • B8003 • B8004 • B8005 • B8006 • B8007 • B8008 • B8009 • B8010 • B8011 • B8012 • B8013 • B8014 • B8015 • B8016 • B8017 • B8018 • B8019
B8020 • B8021 • B8022 • B8023 • B8024 • B8025 • B8026 • B8027 • B8028 • B8029 • B8030 • B8031 • B8032 • B8033 • B8034 • B8035 • B8036 • B8037 • B8038 • B8039
B8040 • B8041 • B8042 • B8043 • B8044 • B8045 • B8046 • B8047 • B8048 • B8049 • B8050 • B8051 • B8052 • B8053 • B8054 • B8055 • B8056 • B8057 • B8058 • B8059
B8060 • B8061 • B8062 • B8063 • B8064 • B8065 • B8066 • B8067 • B8068 • B8069 • B8070 • B8071 • B8072 • B8073 • B8074 • B8075 • B8076 • B8077 • B8078 • B8079
B8080 • B8081 • B8082 • B8083 • B8084 • B8085 • B8086 • B8087 • B8088 • B8089 • B8090 • B8091 • B8092 • B8093 • B8094 • B8095 • B8096 • B8097 • B8098 • B8099
Earlier iterations: B8000 • B8006 • B8008 • B8026 • B8039


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