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B966

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B966
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (30)
From:  Brechin (NO599604)
To:  Fordoun (NO768784)
Via:  Edzell
Distance:  18.7 miles (30.1 km)
Meets:  A935, A90. B974, B9120, A90
Former Number(s):  A94
Highway Authorities

Aberdeenshire • Angus

Traditional Counties

Angus • Kincardineshire

Route outline (key)
B966 Brechin - Fordoun

The B966 is an L-shaped B-road which passes through the Howe of the Mearns in east Scotland.

Route

The route starts at a mini-roundabout on the A935 in the centre of Brechin and heads northwest along Southesk Street to the next mini-roundabout where it turns right to head northeast along Trinity Road and ultimately leave town. After passing between a couple of fields, the road goes through Trinity itself before reaching the Keithock dumbbell GSJ on the A90. Because of the acute angle which the two routes cross at, the B966 goes through a skewed tunnel and the two sets of slip roads (which both meet the B966 mainline at roundabouts) are over a quarter of a mile apart. Beyond the junction, the route winds northwards across fields, cutting across the corner of a Roman Fort site before passing through the tiny village of Inchbare.

Edzell Wood

This is the eastern end of Strathmore, and just after Inchbare the B966 crosses the West Water on Westwater Bridge, before passing through Edzell Wood. At the northern end of the wood, the road is pinched down to pass under Dalhousie Arch, which was built in 1887 to commemorate the local Laird. This is the entrance to Edzell, which the B966 runs straight through along the High Street, interrupted only by a mini roundabout at the northern end. The High Street is wide and lined by an eclectic mix of buildings, including many fine Red Sandstone properties. Continuing north, the road follows the valley of the River North Esk upstream for about a mile before bearing to the right and crossing the river at Gannochy Bridge. This marks the point where the road changes from being a north/south route to running east/west and is also the county boundary.

The Royal arch at Fettercairn

The road continues northeastwards along the northern edge of Strathmore, with low hills rising to the left. Much of this section is wooded at first but then becomes more open as the road crosses fields to reach Fettercairn. On the nearside of the village the B974 comes in from the right to follow the B966 in a short multiplex along Main Street. Immediately after the first junction, the road goes through the Royal Arch, a narrow, ornate archway built to commemorate the visit of Queen Victoria to the village. It is much grander in style than the arch at Edzell, but also lower and narrower with height and width limits in force, and signs saying 'cars only'. The multiplex ends at a roundabout where the B966 bears right, with the B974 kinking left into The Square to start the climb of the Cairn o'Mounth.

After leaving Fettercairn behind the road TOTSOs left at a slightly staggered crossroads, with the B9120 continuing ahead. The next few miles are wholly rural, largely straight and more-or-less flat as the road strides across the northern edge of the Howe of the Mearns, a fairly flat bowl of fertile farmland sheltered by hills to all sides. The first left turn leads to the remains of Kincardine Castle, which gave this county its name, but never had a town around it. The route crosses the 80m contour a few times as it heads north east, passing a scattering of farms and houses, and the small village of West Cairnbeg. It then becomes somewhat windier as it crosses a series of streams, and passes to the south of Auchenblae, the village is hidden a mile or so up the steep sided glen to the north.

Old Aberdeen Road

These days, most traffic turns right at the next crossroads, but the B966 continues ahead and soon reaches the former Fordoun Airfield, going straight across both runways, which have now gained an agricultural use. Although the road must have been closed when the airfield was in use, as is common with many wartime military installations, there is no map evidence to prove this. At the eastern edge of the airfield, a T-junction is reached. This is the original eastern end of the B966 where it ended on the A94, which is now bypassed, however, and so the B966 has been extended. Road signs here claim the road splits and runs in both directions but according to maps it only turns left, which is the shorter route to the A90.

However, B966 traffic must, for the time being, turn right and head back to Fordoun. The Abbeyton Bridge over the railway was demolished on Christmas Eve 2018 after structural surveys warned it was in danger of imminent collapse. Its replacement was approved in late 2021, with construction expected to begin in the first half of 2023. The B966 terminates immediately after crossing the railway, at an at-grade T junction with the dualled A90. For now though, traffic turns right and follows the old A94 route along Old Aberdeen Road back to Fordoun, beyond which the A90 is met at a similar at grade T junction.

History

As first classified in 1922, the B966 started at Keithock Junction on the then-A94 and headed north to Edzell. The section to the south leading into Brechin was originally the A94, although it originally followed Clerk Street into the town centre, with Southesk Street being the A933. North of the A90, the B966 proper has also seen some improvements, with a slight realignment and a new bridge alongside the old concrete span at Bridge of Cruick, followed by another realignment at the entrance to Inchbare. There must have also been a temporary wartime diversion around Fordoun Airfield, but this has yet to be identified.

The 1922 MOT Road List defines this route as: Junction with A94 N. of Brechin - Fettercairn - Goukmuir





B966
Junctions
Crossings
Places
Related Pictures
View gallery (30)
B966 eastwards from Devilly Bridge - Geograph - 1384398.jpgForfar Road - Geograph - 1200815.jpgAuchenblae Road (B966) - Geograph - 1200789.jpgSmall Bridge on B966 Fettercairn Rd - Geograph - 67508.jpgDalhousie Arch, Edzell.jpg
Other nearby roads
Brechin
A90 • A94 • A933 • A935 • A936 • B9134 • C30 (Angus) • C31 (Angus)
B900 – B999
B900 • B901 • B902 • B903 • B904 • B905 • B906 • B907 • B908 • B909 • B910 • B911 • B912 • B913 • B914 • B915 • B916 • B917 • B918 • B919
B920 • B921 • B922 • B923 • B924 • B925 • B926 • B927 • B928 • B929 • B930 • B931 • B932 • B933 • B934 • B935 • B936 • B937 • B938 • B939
B940 • B941 • B942 • B943 • B944 • B945 • B946 • B947 • B948 • B949 • B950 • B951 • B952 • B953 • B954 • B955 • B956 • B957 • B958 • B959
B960 • B961 • B962 • B963 • B964 • B965 • B966 • B967 • B968 • B969 • B970 • B971 • B972 • B973 • B974 • B975 • B976 • B977 • B978 • B979
B980 • B981 • B982 • B983 • B984 • B985 • B986 • B987 • B988 • B989 • B990 • B991 • B992 • B993 • B994 • B995 • B996 • B997 • B998 • B999
Former versions: B902 • B906 • B907(W) • B907(E) • B911 • B912 • B924(E) • B924(W) • B937 • B944 • B947
B953 • B963 • B969 • B973 • B974 • B975 • B976 • B978 • B980 • B981 • B983 • B984 • B985 (1) • B985 (2) • B987 • B988 • B991 • B995 • B996 • B998


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