Ross, Alexander, 'Old
Highland Roads', Transactions of the Gaelic Society
of Inverness 14 (1887-88) 172-193
aim of the author is to assess the beneficial effect
roads had on the highlands in different time periods.
In the course of doing this he gives many interesting
details of how the road system developed over the years.
His account of Roman roads is interesting not least
because of the references to earlier antiquarians who
supposed the road network to have been more extensive
than is now believed.
He discusses a number of bridges that date from mediaeval
times and has considerable detail on early droving routes
and on the life of the drovers. He also deals with the
military roads and includes some graphic descriptions
from early travellers. He concludes with an account
of the work of the Commission for Highland Roads and
MacTavish, Duncan C, 'Argyllshire Roads Prior to
1800' TGSI 38 (1937-41) 325-355
paper cover the period just up to the formation of the
Commission for Highland Roads and Bridges in 1803.
The statute labour law of 1669 seems to have been implemented
at least in Cowal and mid- Argyll and a list from 1710
identifies roads in these areas where work was to be
done. Further records show that the work was not always
being done, particularly in Kintyre and Lorn. A slightly
later list of 1733 gives the names of over 60 overseers
and surveyors who were fined for neglect of their duties.
There is an interesting account listing equipment required
and where it should be deployed. Instructions are also
given as to the manner of road making. The system seems
to have improved from this time on and reports from
many parishes still exist.
are given of how the statute labour requirement to work
on the roads affected ordinary people and it is clear
that it was inefficient and often led to hardship if
the roads were distant from people's homes. Large numbers
of people could be involved - for example, there were
500 men working on the north end of Jura in 1732. In
1757 the statute labour was commuted and this proved
much more workable.
Details are given of the work of the Commissioners of
Supply in respect to bridges and ferries and of the
help given by the county to the building of the military
roads through providing labour and materials.
The paper concludes with an account of the 1775 local
act in which details of particular roads are provided.
Kerr, John, 'Old Grampian Highways' TGSI 49 (1974-76)
paper examines two early routes over the Grampians:
Comyn's Road and the Minigaig Pass. Both routes run
from Blair Athol towards Ruthven.
Comyn's Road was, in parts at least, a "made"
road and built in the late 1200's to link the castles
of Blair and Ruthven. This Minigaig route seems to have
replaced it by the 1600's perhaps because of a bridge
being built over the Tilt that would have made journeys
easier, particularly for drovers. The author looks at
its depiction on early maps and notes how it was gradually
fell out of use when the new military road over the
Drumochter Pass was built.
He then describes in detail the courses taken by the
two routes and what can be seen today, supplementing
this with interesting historical facts.
MacDonald, Mairi A, 'Drovering' TGSI 49 (1974-76)
paper details the difficulties faced by drovers and
the qualities and skills needed to carry out droving
successfully. Apart from physical stamina, the drover
had to be a person of probity, had to have considerable
veterinary knowledge and have good business acumen.
There were definite dangers to be faced on the journey,
from robbers to getting animals safely over water. A
description is given of the main droving routes leading
John, 'Old Roads to Strathardle' TGSI 51, also reprint
Martin, Whittet, 'Over the Hills and Not So Far
Away' TGSI 56 (1988-90) 344-381
MacDonald Murdo, 'The Droving Trade in the Records
of the Commissioners of Supply of Argyllshire' TGSI
58 (1992-94) 1-7
Commissioners of Supply, along with JP's were responsible
for roads, ferries and bridges from 1686 up to 1775
when the first local act for Argyleshire was passed.
The paper examines a number of issues relating to droving
that were dealt with by the Commissioners. These included
rates on ferries, the condition of quays, damage to
roads and crops and what support should be given when
outside interests threatened to affect the trade.
Interesting details are given of the main Argyll market
at Kilmichael-Glassary and of some of the routes that