MHG53629 - Route of Drovers Road, Kinloch to Kylerhea, Skye


A drovers road, running from Kinloch to the sea crossing at Kylerhea. A footpath follows the route, with survival in places as a paved and revetted roadway, 2m wide.

Type and Period (1)

  • DROVE ROAD (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A drovers road, connecting Kinloch to Kylerhea. This road, which survives as a footpath largely following an early route, would have been the path through the wooded coastal fringe of Skye, from Kinloch to the Kylerhea sea crossing, and onward to the seasonal cattle fairs at Falkirk and Crieff. The original drove way would have been a wide strip of hillside along which cattle would have been driven in a controlled manner. The route would probably only have become a formalised path to accomadate human traffic, both on foot and horseback, after the settlement of Leitir Fura was established, in the 17th century.
The formalised route was clearly in existence by the mid 18th-century as shown on Stobie's map of the area, published in 1766. It is also shown following the same route on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map.
A walkover survey was conducted along the footpath which follows the route of the drove way. This identified a series of sections surviving as paved and revetted roadway, as terraced sections as well as a number of additional features, including route markers, fords and bridge abutments.
The drovers road, at 2 metres wide, would have carried horse and foot traffic. Cattle would have been driven along a wider area of hillside, probably above the surviving path, only joining the route of the road at ravines and larger river crossings. This would explain the width of bridges some 4.5 metres wide. <1>

A watching brief was carried out during upgrading of the drove road, carried out in 1996-1997. Well preserved sections of the road were preserved in situ, and incorporated within the reinstated footpath. A small well was identified by contractors working close to Leitir Frura. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NG 7486 1783 (7421m by 5126m)
Map sheet NG71NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (9)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

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