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One of the oldest recreational signs in the world, now lost.  Taken by an unknown photographer. Heritage Paths Project
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Old Struan Coffin Road

Start location: B8019, Tressait (NN 819 601)
End location: public road east of Old Struan (NN 816 654)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Coffin Road
Path distance: 5.7km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

Our route description is north to south, instead of the south to north direction coffins will have travelled in. The direct route to the church at Old Struan has been lost to forestry, but a later alternative is still accessible and this is described below.

From Calvine cross the River Garry and go east past Old Struan church and across the Errochty Water for 700m to the SRWS signpost at NN816654. Proceed south over a field to a gate and uphill through a birchwood to a forestry gate and ladder stile at NN816646. Follow the forest track SSE to leave the plantation at NN815635 over a ladder stile - do not follow the bulldozed track which stays within the forest. Climb south over the shoulder of the hill to a ladder stile at NN816625 and enter the older forest west of Loch Bhac. Then head south, to be joined by the old route past Loch Bhac at NN818619, and leave the forest again by a gate at NN815608 above fields running down to Loch Tummel. Turn left through a field gate and bear slightly left, downhill, passing just to the west of the buildings at Balintuim (NN816605) and pick up a pleasant grassy track leading to the B8019, 50m east of the Loch Tummel Inn.

OS Landranger 43 (Braemar & Blair Atholl)

Heritage Information

This old coffin road between Loch Tummel and the River Garry was used for centuries to carry the deceased from townships in the Tummel Valley to the medieval St Fillan’s Church at Old Struan. At over 5km in length it must have been a hard journey for those carrying the coffin and may have involved quite a lot of people carrying a heavy load for that distance. 

There are quite often coffin rests along these journeys which would be flat stones, raised boulders or flattened cairns depending on the local geology, where the coffin could be left while the carriers rested. There are none so far found on this route, but there could well be some that have so far not been identified.

Unfortunately the last (northern) kilometre of this route has been lost to plantation. Having originally ended at the church, the currently accessible route ends at the River Garry, but it still gives a good idea as to the distances walked by people regularly.





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Copyright: Richard Slessor



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