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Dere Street near Crailinghall.  Taken by Richard Warren. Heritage Paths Project
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Rathad Mor nan Corp

Start location: minor road by Dochanassie (NN 212 859)
End location: Bridge of Mucomir, A82 (NN 183 839)
Geographical area: Lochaber
Path Type: Coffin Road
Path distance: 4km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

We have no recent survey of Rathad Mor nan Corp. If you know the route and are able to send us a survey, we'd very much appreciate it. Photos of this coffin road will also be gratefully received.

OS Landranger 34 (Fort Augustus & Glen Albyn area) or 41 (Ben Nevis, Fort William & surrounding area)

Heritage Information

Rathad Mor nan Corp is an old coffin road believed to have been used by the McMartins of Letterfinlay to take their dead to the Cameron graveyard at Gairlochy. We haven't been able to trace the line of the coffin road further north to Letterfinlay itself, although it may have gone past Lower Glenfintaig Farm and then under the military road or the present road. However the last McMartin of Letterfinlay to live at Letterfinlay left by 1770, after which time Letterfinlay was converted into an Inn now replaced. His heirs lived at Dochanassie and Mucomir which may go a little way to explain why only the section between the two is marked as Rathad Mor nan Corp on the OS maps.

The southern extent of the path is somewhat altered, perhaps by the now dismantled railway line. Rathad Mor nan Corp continued to Mucomir Farm by the westernmost of the two paths that run south to the A82. However the Mucomir Cut was only made in 1813, so we assume the path used to continue more directly westwards to Cladh Mucomir, itself affected by the building of the Caledonian Canal.

Cladh Mucomir, the Cameron burial ground at Gairlochy, is still in use. There are grave monuments dating back to the eighteenth century. Another burial ground (Cladh Chillmonibhaig) and its church once stood nearby, but they are now covered by the rerouted River Lochy. Kilmonivaig has a long history, a rector is noted in 1449. Today, just west of Spean Bridge, lies Kilmonivaig Established Church. Built in 1812, it seems likely that this was built to replace the church soon to be lost to the engineering works for the Caledonian Canal.

The Mucomir Cut was made in 1813 between Loch Lochy and the River Spean under the auspices of Telford. It diverted the River Lochy from its former channel allowing the building of the Caledonian Canal in its place. As a result the level of Loch Lochy was raised by 12ft. As well as cutting across the likely line of Rathad Mor nan Corp, the Mucomir Cut destroyed the Dell of Macomer (Delmacomer) a famous gathering place for the clans.

 

 



 

 

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Copyright: Andrew Wood

 

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