MHG54425 - Dog Fall's


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Type and Period (1)

  • Still (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

RCAHMS Canmore description:
The website text produced for Dogfalls webpages on the Forest Heritage Scotland website (
Introduction: The water of life
Below a rock outcrop close to the Dog Falls waterfall in Glen Affric you can find the remains of a hidden whisky still.
The name "whisky" comes from the Gaelic "Uisge Beatha", meaning "water of life". The secret of making whisky is thought to have been introduced to the west coast of Scotland from Ireland around 1500 years ago.
While whisky is made elsewhere in the world, Scotch whisky is certainly the most famous.
In the Highlands of Scotland in the 18th century, making (or "distilling") whisky was a common activity. Nearly every household would have had its own whisky still, to make enough to provide for themselves. They sold any surplus and sometimes even paid the rent in drink!
The government, however, wanted to extend its control over whisky production, and the Excise Act of 1788 banned the use of stills that made less than 100 gallons at a time. This meant that all small household stills became illegal. All this achieved was to send Highland whisky production underground with people hiding their whisky stills, like the one at Dog Falls, in remote places.
People Story: illegal...but good!
Today illegal goods are often seen as inferior to their legal counterpart, for example badly copied DVDs. Yet, in the 18th century, both rich and poor sought after illicitly made whisky, as it was better quality than its legal counterpart.
The poor quality of legal whisky was due to the high rate of tax imposed on the malted grain used to make whisky. To cut costs, the large distilleries began to use unmalted raw grain. This produced an inferior drink called [i]"Corn spirits"[/i].
"...chiefly drunk by the dram drinkers, who wish to get drunk at the cheapest rate, and whose corrupted stomachs prefer the hardest spirits"
From 1798 Parliamentary Papers relative to the Distilleries of Scotland quoted by T. De <1>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference NH 2809 2810 (point) Approximate. Point generated from 2011 NMRS download data
Map sheet NH22NE
Civil Parish KILMORACK
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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