MHG52608 - Landing places and footpaths, Loch Laggan

Summary

Two landing places on either side of a peninsula which appears to have been artificially enlarged, with one or more man-made footpaths connecting the two.

Type and Period (5)

  • LANDING POINT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • NAUST (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CAUSEWAY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FOOTPATH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD to 1900 AD)
  • VANTAGE POINT? (19th Century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Graham Grant of Laggan Heritage Group contacted the HER in March 2009 about some structures on the south shore of Loch Laggan. The site is described as a rough circular heap at the point of a small peninsula, diameter around 5 metres and height around 1.3m, consisting of broken stones up to 1.6 metres long, many with flat edges. Within the south side of the heap is a section of path consisting of flat stones and joining a walkway of larger flat, square-cut "paving" stones up to a metre square. The path leads around 100 metres SE from the loch, eventually disappearing and being covered by a thick layer of flood debris and low branched conifers. From the NE of the heap of stones, at the water's edge, another similar path runs east around the peninsula for 140 metres disappearing in thick rhododendrons. Both walkways become indistinct before perhaps meeting the remains of the path running along the lochside from Ardverikie Lodge. The landowner feels that this could be an ancient site linked to the alleged medieval occupation of the Islands of Kings and Dogs. <1><2>

A member of HCAU staff visited the site in June 2009 accompanied by Mr Grant and Mr Fielden, the owner of Ardverikie Estate. The site is thickly vegetated and many of the putative remains are difficult to make out, however the structures broadly correspond to the description above. There are two clear landing places on either side of the peninsula and at least one pathway appears to link these sites. One clear pathway was seen, with possible evidence for a second. The path is constructed from large flat rocks which appear to have been shaped to fit together and set with packing stones. There is no evidence for working/shaping of the many other stones on the site. The right-angled edges of a possible enclosure could be seen on the eastern side of the peninsula but the thickness of vegetation made it impossible to trace this further inland.
No firm conclusions can be reached about the date of this site. There is no reason to dismiss the possibility of prehistoric activity on this part of the loch shore, as asserted by the landowner, but no evidence was seen to support a prehistoric origin for these particular structures. It is possible that the landing places were established during the medieval period, and may be associated with the putative hunting lodge on a nearby island in the loch. The path-like structures may also relate to this, but it is perhaps more likely that they were established during a later period. The pile of stones on the peninsula may result from a Victorian attempt to enhance this natural feature and provide a viewpoint over the loch. If this is the case, then the pathways may be part of this scheme. There is apparently no record of this site on any of the estate plans. <3><4>


<1> Highland Council, 2009, Correspondence between Graham Grant (Laggan Heritage) and Sylvina Tilbury (HCAU) (Text/Correspondence). SHG24245.


<2> Grant, G, 2009, Photographs of site at Loch Laggan (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG24246.


<3> Tilbury, S, Comment by Sylvina Tilbury, HER Officer (Verbal Communication). SHG23297.


<4> Tilbury, S, 2009-11, Photographs by Sylvina Tilbury, HER Officer, Site visit 12/06/2009 (Image/Photograph(s)). SHG24247.

Sources/Archives (4)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NN 49313 87184 (152m by 95m) (Centred)
Map sheet NN48NE
Civil Parish LAGGAN
Geographical Area BADENOCH AND STRATHSPEY

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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