Kirk Road, Clatt
Start location: roadend, Hillhead (NJ 518 265)
End location: Clatt Auld Kirk (NJ 538 259)
Geographical area: Grampian
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 2.2km
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A sign at the roadend states Hillhead of Clatt and the track leads up to the farm. Past the farm, the Kirk Road appears to largely follow field boundaries east and southeast until c.NJ530263 where its line has been ploughed out for about 100m. Beyond this field, the old route continues generally southeast past Roadside cottages to reach Clatt Auld Kirk.
This old road now crosses an arable field, so it will not always be accessible. It's also likely that the environs of Hillhead of Clatt and Roadside cottages will need to be avoided in order not to impinge on the occupants' privacy. The Heritage Paths project would welcome more information about the accessibility of this route.
This route is reportedly labelled Kirk Road on an 1797 estate plan of Leith Hall. On the first edition OS 1" map (1874) it is just as clearly marked as the present day road past Persylieu to the north, but on later maps it appears relatively less signinificant. Present day OS 1:50,000 maps only show the route in part.
The Auld Kirk in Kirktown of Clatt was reportedly rebuilt in 1799, although sharp eyes may spot a lintel dated 1778 and the belfry dates from 1640. It was repaired in 1886 and refurbished for community use in 2004. However, the site itself is likely to be far older, probably medieval.
Old maps show various interesting features along the Kirk Road - the sites of a causeway and tumuli - which may point to this being a very old route indeed. Placename evidence may come from the cottages at Roadside (NJ535261), which lie well away from the road network currently in use. Indeed Newbigging's farmbuildings were originally sited slightly further east and these were instead accessed from the old road just west of Roadside.