Start location: B979 at Blackburn (NJ 825 128)
End location: Unclassified road, Brae Farm SE of Kintore (NJ 800 155)
Geographical area: Grampian
Path Type: Military Road
Path distance: 4.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Proceeding from Aberdeen I entered Blackburn at the Clinterty roundabout. passed through the village and parked my car in a public car park behind the Lee Inn. I walked up the B979, Hatton of Fintray Road seeing Kinellar School on the right and a Recreation Ground on the left. I kept to the left and alongside the Recreation Ground, passing West Wood House there is a hard surfaced road some fifteen feet wide or perhaps a little less. The road is bordered by trees and is suitable for light motor traffic. There are several houses on this road. Beyond Woodhill the last house the road deteriorates and is in need of repair. The trees are left behind and the road passes through farmland. There is a low stone wall on the right and a verge with a wire fence on the left. As the farm Glasgoego is approached the road surface is completely destroyed presumably by farm vehicles and cattle. However it still twelve to fifteen feet wide. The road circles the farm in a clockwise direction and as one leaves the farm buildings it passes Glasgoego Reservoir on the right and the conditions underfoot improve. The surface is now earth, sand and gravel. We now cross the public road to Cairntradlin, entering a new short stretch of public road which has been built to give access to Muir of Kinellar farm because its original access was destroyed by the building of the Blackburn By-Pass. At a T junction we turn right for a few yards to the farm turning left just before the farm entrance on a farm road. This road has a rough surface with much grass and gullies and pot holes. However it is quite easily passable. The track is about ten feet wide and there are a few houses along it as well as one or two branch tracks. The track has farmland on either side and is bounded by low walls or fences with a number of hedges and bushes. The characteristics of the track are roughly the same all the way - ruts, potholes, grass and bushes from time to time but generally firm. Eventually the track improves somewhat as one nears Brae Farm - apart from areas affected by farm traffic. Before Brae Farm the track passes by Nethermill where it veers right, and by Tofthills. The track reaches Kintore at Brae Farm where we enter Kinsfield Road.
This path may well have been realigned since the 18th century but it is essentially the track of what the Ordnance Survey described as General Wade's Military Road. This is interesting in itself as it certainly wasn't built by General Wade but by Major Caulfeild in the 1750s as part of the road between Stonehaven and Fochabers via Aberdeen. It is common for Wade to be credited with Caulfeild's work, probably as he outranked him.
The Ordnance Survey also named this route as 'The Skair'. We don't know why this is so called and any information would be gratefully received.