Home > Miscellaneous>References to Roads in MacFarlane's Geographical Collections













References to Roads in Walter MacFarlane's Geographical Collections

MacFarlane’s Geographical Collections represent an early attempt to provide a complete description of Scotland, an endeavour that was realised with the publication of the Statistical Accounts in the late 1700's. Although earlier descriptions of Scotland survive they are quite short and restricted to an overview of regions and towns, often for military purposes. MacFarlane is much more detailed, though not complete and not as well organised as it might have been. Where they do cover an area, however, they give us information on Scotland in the 17th and 18th centuries that we would not otherwise have.

As implied in their title, the Collections are just that; miscellanous accounts and notes of districts and parishes covering topography, history and antiquities. They were compiled from different sources, including Timothy Pont and Robert Gordon; the National Library of Scotland gives details of the sources of the Collections on its Pont Maps site.

One feature that is useful is the reference to the highways as well as to ferries, bridges and fords simply because the maps of the period prior to the Military Survey of c.1750 show very few roads. With these accounts written in the 1720’s and sometimes earlier it allows us to reconstruct part of the network at that time, and it is of course highly likely that the roads were in existence well before this.

It is clear that many ferries existed and that some of these could carry horses. Fords also were a major feature of the landscape but by this time quite a few bridges had been built, to great advantage. There are so many references to the King's highways that we can probably assume a very extensive network of "roads". Most would have been rough tracks but with the important right to pass freely along them.

The volumes also contain a number of entries that give lists of distances between places and it is clear that quite a few of these relate to routes. As there are so many they are only noted below

Note: The county maps are from Arrowsmith's map of Scotland dated 1846; Images courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The images are copyright Cartography Associates but have been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.





The Garioch, Aberdeenshire; 18 parishes in Aberdeen Description of the Parishes in Angus
Country of Buchan, Aberdeenshire; Notes for Banff & Buchan; Aberdour; Pitsligo; Rathen; Strichen Dunfermline, Auchtermuchty, Colessie, Abernethy, Colessie
New & Old Deer; St Fergus,Banff; Crimond, Aberdeen; Lonmay; Longside; Peterhead; Description of 9 parishes Markinch, Beath, Monimaill; Newburgh; Clackmannan; Alva; Lecropt; Dunblane
Daviot; New Macar; Drumblade; Keith (Banff); Description - Ochterlees, Turriff & Fyvies in Aberdeenshire Stirlingshire - Morwenside; Slamannan; Falkirk; Bothkennar; Airth; Larbert; Dunipace
Monymusk, Kenmay & Cluny; Logie Buchan; Newhills; Kincardine O'Neil, Aboyne/Glentanar; Banchory Devenock Perthshire - Kilmadock; Kincardine; Pert; Aberfoyle. Buchanan; Fintree; Kilmaronock; Bonhill
Perthshire - Alyth; Abernethy; Dunning; Fargandenny; Rind & Dron; Muthill; Callendar; Logie; Blackford, Ochterarder, Dunning &c Selkirkshire; Annandale
Orkney & Caithness - St Olla & Kirkwall; Carnesby; Wick; Latheron; Thurso; Bowar; Wattin; Reay Newbattle; Gladsmure; Aberlady; Haddington; Ladykirk (Merse)
Strathnaver - Farr; Durness; Creich Gretna & Reidkirk; Langholm; Ewes; Kirkpatrick Durham; Minigaff
Inverness; Suddie; Urray & Kilchrist (Ross); Alness (Ross) Boleskin & Abertarf; Calder (Nairn); Spynie (Moray); Alves (Elgin); Bellie (Banff); Banff; Alva (Banff) Monktoun; Stair; Symington. Bothwell. Inchinnan; Erskine
Fettteresso;Kineff & Caterline;Upper Banchory; Strachan; Durres; Peter Coulter; Aberluthnot, Benholm, Cyris Ellon & Logie Buchan; Strachan; Drumack; Durres; Mary Culter
Dunotar, Katerline & Kineff, Bervy, Fettercairn, Fordoun, Lawrencekirk, Aberluthnot, Fordoun  



Note: The roads in yellow are from Farquharson's map of the Forest of Mar that dates from 1703. Those in purple are from Herman Moll's map of 1718 entitled "A pocket companion of ye roads of ye North part of Great Britain called Scotland." As it is very difficult to ascertain the course of these roads from his map they should be taken as illustrative only. Some roads from the texts have been added in orange; again these should be taken as illustrative only.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 4 King’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through Culsalmon parish (also P16 - another highway passes through here from the high country to Buchan).
Page 6 -ditto for Chappel of Garrioch parish (also P17 - the king’s highway from Aberdeen to the high country passes through here).
Page 7 Fine bridge over Water of Don in Aberdeen.
Page 8 The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through the town of Inverurie. The highway uses fords and passage boats to cross the Don and Water of Urie.
Page 11 The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Banff runs through the parish and village of Old Meldrum.
Page 14 King’s highway from Edinburgh to Inverness runs through Clatt parish.
Page 16 No highway in parish of Kinnemonth.
King’s highway from Aberdeen to the high country passes through Premnay parish by Miln of Barns and Overhall.
Page 18 One of the Lesleys of Balquhoyn built a dyke around the top of Bennochie and a long Causey across a great moss up to the fort “whither he brought such handsom Girles whom he fancied….”

Description of eighteen parishes in the shire and diocese of Aberdeen C.1720
Page 21 Boat of Alford over the river Don in Strathdone parish. The highway between Perth and Inverness passes through here. There is a new bridge over the Don at Pot of Pool d’oylie.
Page 24 In Coldstane and Logie parish there is a highway between Aberdeen and the heights of Strathdone etc.
Page 26 A highway to Elgin runs through Cabrach parish.
Page 35 A highway between Edinburgh and Inverness runs through Tullinessel parish.
Page 36 A highway between Edinburgh and Inverness runs through Gartlie parish.
Page 37 Bridge of Peiduly near Strathdon kirk.

Description of Countrey of Buchan Aberdeenshire 1721

Page 38 Stone bridge on the River Cruden in Cruden parish. The bridge was erected by a bishop of Brechin.
Page 39 Bridge over Eugie in parish of St Fergus, near to Peterhead.
Page 41 Bridge over water of Auchmedden between Aberdour and Gemrie parishes. It was built by local gentry.
Page 42 Bridge in Turriff.

Notes for Banff & Buchan 1722
Page 46 Two pages of distances in Banff and Buchan (in miles, half-miles and quarter-miles).

Description of the Parish of Aberdour 1724
Page 49 Bridge on the Burn of Glenquhitle in Aberdour parish.
Page 50 King’s highway from Peterhead and Fraserburgh to Banff passes through Aberdour.

Description of the Parish of Pitsligo 1723
Page 50 King’s highway between Fraserburgh and Banff passes through Pitsligo.

Description of the Parish of Rathen1723
Page 55 Two wooden bridges over Water of Pilhorth in parish of Rathen. One is ¼ mile west of the church on the road to Old Dear and the other is between Carnbuilg and the sea on the Frazerburgh to Peterhead road.

Description of the Parish of Strichen 1723
Page 60 There are three highways in the parish of Strichen. One comes in from Pitsligo and goes to Old Deer, Ellon and Aberdeen; another comes from Frazerburgh and goes to New Deer and Turriff; and a third that passes between Old Deer and Frazerburgh going by Rindrought. There is a ford at Rindrought and a timber bridge for horse and foot.
There are three bridges in the parish: Rindrought, as said; Howfoord for those on foot only though there is also a ford; and one just above the church with a nearby ford. There is another ford near the church at the old mill of Streechen on the way to Pitsligo and Aberdour.

Description of the Parish of New Deer 1723
Page 62 The king’s highway from Tarves to Fraserburgh and that from Peterhead to Turreff pass through the parish of New Deer. There are two stone bridges in the parish.

Description of the Parish of Old Deer 1723
Page 62 The king’s highways from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and from Strathbogie, Turreff etc to Peterhead intersect in the parish of Old Deer. There are two great fairs and a weekly market.
At the east side of the village there is a wooden bridge and another wooden bridge over the Ugie nearby. A fine stone bridge has been erected at the expense of a local landowner, who had also built a small bridge near his house at Bruxie.

Description Parish of St Fergus, Banffshire and Crimond, Aberdeenshire 1722

Page 66 Bridge over Eugie at Inverugie in St Fergus parish, also 2 fords close by. Bridge over water of Anchie.

Page 67 Wooden bridge and ford in Crimond parish.

Description of the Parish of Lonmay, Aberdeenshire 1722
Page 68 In the parish of Lonmay, the king’s highway goes from Inveralochie south past the church to the Calsay of Kininmunth and then by a timber bridge over the Water of Eugie to Old Deer.

Description of the Parish of Longside, Aberdeenshire 1723
Page 70 Two timber bridges over Water of Ugie in the parish of Longside.

Description Parish of Peterhead 1733
Page 70 Good stone bridge in Peterhead.

Description of 9 Parishes 1724
Page 75 Bridge on the burn of Boyne in parish of Boyndy. Cullen to Banff is 8 miles by the king’s highway.

Page 80 In Glass parish there is a stone bridge at Strathbogie; also 1¼ miles SW of Glass church. The king’s highway runs north-south and divides the parish from Cairny; there is also a highway from Aberdeen to the highlands.

A Geographical Description of the Parish of Daviot
Page 84 Daviot parish has one highway which runs from Inverury to Turreff.

A Short Account of the Parish of New Macar
Page 84 In New Macar parish the “Marcket Road” from Aberdeen to Banff runs by Parkhill Kinmundy, the church, Udny and Turriff.

Description Parish of Drumblade
Page 86 In the parish of Drumblade the public road goes from Strathbogy to Aberdeen. There is also a highway from Huntley to Turreff that passes through.

Keith Parish in Banffshire post-1742
Page 89 There is a bridge over the Yla near Keith church. At Glengerach, two miles north and by east from the church there is another bridge.

Description Parishes of Ochterless, Tureff and Fyvie in Aberdeen 1723
Page 92 In Turriff parish there is a bridge over the Turriff near the town.. The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Banff passes through the town.

Page 94 In Fyvie parish there is a bridge over the Ythan at Lewes of Fyvie, half a mile from the village.

A Geographical Description of the Parishes of Monymusk Kenmay and Cluny 1722
Page 95 There is a small bridge in Monymusk. Mention of Boat of Kemnay on the river Don and a Boat in Monymusk. There are also 2 or three fords.
The highway from Aberdeen passes the church of Kenmay and leads over the Bridge of Ton over the Ton Burn.
The Rectified Highway called the Skene Road from Aberdeen enters Clunie parish to the SE, runs past Drumlahoy to Mill of Clunie where there is a bridge, then through Monymusk parish to the parishes of Touch and Keig.

Page 97 There is a ferry boat in Ellon.

Parish of Logie Buchan 1723
page 97 A ferry boat on the south side of the river Ythan mentioned in account of Logie Buchan, also in connection with Methlik parish (page98).

Description Parish of Newhills, Aberdenshire 1725
Page 99 The North Road passes through Newhills parish and crosses the bridge of Buxburn. A public road runs through Alford to the highlands.

Descriptions of Kincardine O’Neil, Aboyne and Glentanar Parishes 1725
Page 101 Details of several roads are given, e.g. there is a ferry boat over the Dee at Kincardine O’Neil and there is a direct road between Aberdeen and Braemar. The burn of Desk which divides Kincardine from Aboyne is crossed by a “strong timber bridge with stone land sleats.”
Road NE of Kincardine with a timber bridge over the Burn of Canny. Road from Craigmyle towards Wester Billie with “steps” over the Burn of Canny; road northwards by the church at Tough etc

Banchory Devenock in Aberdeen and Merns 1725
P 107 Banchory Devenock church is one mile from the Bridge of Dee leading to Aberdeen close by. Parishoners pay for a ferry boat to take them across the river on the Sabbath.
“To the north of Auchorties 1½ mile is the Caulsay port with a large Caulsay which pass throw a large moss and the port was built and the Caulsay laid 1684 by the City of Aberdeen and the said town setts in tack the said port to a man who gathers up from every horse that passes throw the port eight pennies Scots. At the north end of the said Caulsay passes throw the Grampian hills which goe straight to the sea, and there is a large highway passes from Aberdeen to Edinburgh along this Caulsay.” - see also Causey Mounth
Highway from Aberdeen to the Highlands on the north side of the river.

See also 1) Ellon & Logie Buchan; 2) Balvenie, Keith, Kintore, Aberdeen, Kincardine, Strathbogie, Aberdeen; Aberdeen

Geographical Descriptions of Severall Parishes in Perthshire.

Alyth 1727

Page 109 Alyth is connected by king’s highways to Forfar by the bridge of Ruthven; Dundee by Meigle, Newtyld and Auchterhouse; Perth by Coupar of Angus; and Dunkeld by Blairgowrie and Clunie.
P 110 There is a passage boat over the Yla on the way from Alyth to Meigle, and one over the same river on the way to Couper in Angus (p111).
P 113 There are five stone bridges on the Alyth Burn: one at Tilliemurdoch, two in Alyth, one about a mile below Alyth and one at the Castle of Innerqueich.

Abernethy 1722
P 115 In Abernethy parish there are boats for foot passengers and horses over both the Arne (Earn) and Tay, near their confluence at a place called the Heughhead.
It is five miles to Perth by the king’s highway, which crosses over the Bridge of Erne (NMRS record-see also Images Online. The bridge dates from c.1329 - very little remains today). King’s highways also go to Stirling, Perth by the Kingoren “rod”, Falkland, Kirkcaldy, Couper by Newburgh. There is a public way from Kingoren to the Carse of Gowrie and Angus, and a foot passage on the Caree. At Gaule there is a bridge and two fords.

Dunning 1723
Page 119 In Dunning parish, the king’s highway from the west of Scotland through Stirling to the East-Bridge of Earn runs through, as does the way to Fife and the “several passages by boat over the Forth.”
There is a bridge in the south east of the parish, and a boat at Innerdunning over the Earn. Two miles NW of Dunning there is the Dalreoch Boat “on a very public way.”

Forgandenny 1727
Page 125 In Forgandenny parish highways run east-west and north-south (Perth to Kinross).

Rind and Dron 1723
Page 126 There are three ferries in Rind parish: one for those on foot comes from Carie in Abernethy parish, two others which also take horses are from the heughhead in Abernethy parish and from the Carse of Gowrie - this one leads to the Bridge of Earn.

Page 127 Two roads pass through Dron parish. One runs south from Perth over the Bridge of Earn and goes to Kingorn; the other runs from Abernethy over to the Stirling road. Where the first road runs through here it is known as the Peth of Drone - “yea it goes through the midel of the Paroch up the Peth of Drone which peth is a highway through that chain of hills which lyes along the south side of the river of Arne….”

Page 131 In Muthill parish there is a bridge with four arches over the Earn. One of the arches was destroyed by the rebels in 1715 to stop the Duke of Argyle’s march to Perth.
There are passage boats at Dallpatrick and Enerpafry, and two bridges over the Mahany. The one at the mill of Steps has “stone pillars laid over with oak trees and covered above with gravel.” There is another bridge over the Knaijk near Ardoch on the road to Stirling.
The road from Stirling to Crieff runs through here as does one from Auchterarder to Comrie, Balwider and Innerlochie.
There is another road which goes from Muthill to Perth, “which is called the street way because it runs in a straight line for the most part, and is cassied with stone, this way is said to have once run betwixt Perth and Sterling which is about 24 miles, and is said to be done either by the Picts or the Romans.”

A Description of the Parish of Callender 1723
Page 134 In Callender parish there is a ford over the Teith near the church and a boat a little to the east. The water of Keltie has a bridge and a ford near where it joins the Teith. At the Chapell of Little Lenie over the Garvusk there is a “good tuimber bridge with stone and lime work in the water.” The river can be forded above and below this bridge.
The king’s highway (from Edinburgh to Fort William) runs from the bridge of Keltie by the kirktoun and Kilmahoy towards Balquidder parish.

Logie Parish 1724
Page 136 In Logie parish there is a highway from Stirling to Alloa which goes by Tillibodie bridge, and one form Stirling to Alva, Tillicultry, Doler, Castle Campble etc that runs along the foot of the Ochils.

Some Short Notes on the Parishes of Blackford, Ochterarder, Dunning etc in Perthshire 1725
Page 138 Crieff parish - mention of a bridge over the Earn in Crieff.

Page 140 In Madderty parish there is a bridge over the Pow at Dolarie and boats for horses and men on the Earn.
Go to other Perthshire parishes (Kilmadock, Kincardine, Port of Menteith, Aberfoyle); see also Abernethy; and Lecropt & Dunblane

Description of St Olla Parish and Kirkwall 1726
Page 142 There is a bridge between Scalpa and Kirkwall. Kirkwall has one street.
Page 147 Mention of a bridge in Kirkwall.

Geographical Description of the Parish of Cannesbay post-1724
Page 153 “The ferry to Orkney is sited near John a Grott’s House. The fare to Barwich on South Ronaldsay is forty pence but double that or four pound Scots on the passage or horse boat.”
Page 154 “The parish lying in a canton, has no highways except what leads from all quarters to the church, and the roads everywhere so bad, that there is scarce any travelling betwixt any two towns in the parish by horse except by bridges made of turff and heath, which must be changed once in the two or three years when the soft mossy ground being cutt by the feet of cattell becomes impassable; such bridges we have in store, frequently 30, 40 or 50 of them in less half a mile of way and some good large ones too. One particularly that ¼ mile long and called the Long Bridge.”

Geographical Description of the Parish of Wick 1726
Page 161 “There is a Bridge at the toun of Wick for the conveniency of the Parish of eleven pillars built with loose stones and only timber laid over them, they are maintained by the southside of the parish for carrying them to the church.”

Geographical Description of the Parish of Lathron 1720’s
Page 163 Bridge erected this year over burn of Lethronwheel.
Three furlongs south of Lethronwheel House there is a “great fabrick” with a causeway - it is said that the causeway “was to be carried on to the town of Thurso, which will be about 17 miles from it, that part, which was made in the Causway mire (which is as bad road as in the countrey, and the road by which the minister of the Parish must go to attend the meetings of the Presbytry) is obvious to any who travel that way.”
Note: The “great fabrick” appears to be the remains of a castle - see NMRS record ) The Causway myre is shown on Robert Gordon’s map of Caithness dated 1642, and appears also on Blaeu as very faint lines. As Gordon is thought to have had sight of Pont’s drafts there is every likelihood that the causeway existed in the 1590’s. It is not clear what its purpose was, although it seems to have headed for Thurso which as a settlement dates back to at least the early middle ages when it was an important Norse port. There is a tradition that Cromwellian troops worked on it in the early 1650’s and Sir John Sinclair had work done on the causeway in the 1770’s using statute labour but the causeway existed before both these endeavours - see George Watson, Roads and Tracks through Local History (Caithness Community Website) for details.
Page 165 There are two chapels on opposite sides of the water of Berridale with a road between them that crosses the great hill of Scarbine, “which rod is called by the natives la cois nive i.e. the rod where the ………. travel.” (see part 3 on above site)
Page 167 The boundary with Sutherland is at the hill of the Ord. On the south side of the hill is the “common passage to and from this country”. The road appeared very dangerous but Sir James Sinclair of Dunbeath had made improvements. From here to the church of Latheron (9 large miles) the road was very bad.

Description Thurso Parish 1726
Page 171 There is a post office to Inverness. There is a ford and a ferry boat over the river.
Page 172 At Scrabster there is a small stone bridge built fairly recently over a small burn.

Description Parish of Bowar
Page 178 The king’s highway between Wick and Thurso passes through by Brabster-dorren and Northfield.

Description Parish of Wattin 1726
Page 180 The king’s highway between Wick and Thurso passes the church.

Description Parish of Reay 1726
Page 181 There is a bridge over the Sandside. There is another bridge ¼ mile east of the church (p183).
Page 183 “The King’s high road from the parish of Kildonan to the church of Reay is thro’ Binvallich down the river of Halladale and over Drimhollistill.”
Page 184 “The King’s high road from Reay to Thurso is thro Isauld Dunray, north side of Skiall and by the Bridge of Forse.”

Country of Strathnaver containing the parishes of Farr, Toungue, Durness, Ederachillis and part of Reay, Sutherland 1726

Page 188 South from Loch Naver the river of Bagisty “lyes in the road between Sutherland and Strathnaver and is very troublesome when high the passengers that ride, being obliged to cross it upwards of four and twenty times in the space of three or four miles, and all the adjacent ground is boggy and full of stanks.”

Page 191 The parish is separated from Tongue by boggy ground which is “scarce ridable but either in a very dry summer or in hard winter frost and not then without a good guide having many small loches and quagmires through it.”

A Geographical Description of the Parish of Creich, Sutherland 1725

Page 202 None of the rivers in this parish have bridges or boats.
Page 203 “The way is generally bad, there are several mosses, boges, and steep rocks and hills, which as well as the rivulets would be tedious, and an endless labour to describe.”

City of Inverness 1732
Page 205 Mention of the coach road leading to the south recently made by General Wade. Bridge in the town and Ferry of Kessack.

Suddie, Inverness-shire 1732

Page 207 Highway to Chanonry.

Memorandum about the United Paroches of Urray & Kilchrist, Ross-shire 1725
Page 210 Ferry boat on the River of Connon. There is another ferry on the same river to the west called the ferry boat of Moy.
The Orran is easily forded - 1½ miles SW of the kirk there is a timber bridge. There is a similar wooden bridge over the Goury near the confluence with the Orran.


Geographical Description of Alness Parish, Rossshire
Page 212 Bridge over the Alness ½ mile NE of the church.

United Parish of Boleskin & Abertarf or Killchumin
Page 220 The Fechlin is a very rapid stream that runs into Loch Ness - many have drowned in it and it has impeded the “march and stages” of the King’s troops and other passengers. Near to the river there is “good conveniency” for travellers at Dringhempte - it is 18 miles from Inverness and 6 from Killchumin or the barracks there. The Garry is seldom fordable in the winter months yet has no bridge or ferry - - it is near the barracks.

A Geographicall Description of Calder Parish (Cawdor), Nairnshire 1726
Page 226 The river Nairn has a bridge in the town and one six miles above at the Bridge of Cantra.
Page 228 The Findhorn is crossed by the Bridge of Dulassie, 12 miles from the sea.
Page 229 The writer notes that the separate parts of Nairnshire went back to the time of the Thanes of Calder (Cawdor) who were heritable sherrifs of Nairn when they had jurisdiction over all lands belonging to them.

Description Parish of Spynie, Morayshire 1723
Page 230 Details of the ferries on the River Spey, viz. boats of Budge, Fiddigh, Skirdustan or Aberlour, Delnapot, Cromdell.
Page 231 King’s highway leading from Spey to Elgin.

Alves, Elginshire
Page 236 King’s highway runs through parish between Elgin and Forres.

Bellie, Banffshire
Page 241 “Through this town passes the Kings High Court way on the end of the town W.ward runs the river Spey, where there are fine passage boats.”

The Parish of Banff
Page 243 There is a bridge over the Deveron at Huntly Castle 12 miles south of Banff, and four ferry boats in Banff itself with two fords.

Alva, Banffshire
Page 245 The Deveron is fordable at several places here and there are boats at Auchinbady and Dunlugas.

Description Parish of Fetteresso (Kincardineshire) Page 247 The Edinburgh to Aberdeen road runs the length of the parish.

A Geographical Description of the Parish of Kinneff & Caterline, Kincardineshire
Page258 The King’s highway from Montrose to Aberdeen passes through - see also 266 below.

Description Upper Banchory, Doors and Strachan in Merns with notes of Mary Culter etc 1724

Upper Banchory (Banchory Terman/Banchory Trinity)
Page 259 Two passage boats near Banchory.

Page 260 Public highway runs over Carne of Month and has stone bridges on it, over the Dee, three miles SW of the church at Spittleburn. There are also bridges on the Feuch and Burn of Camie.

Page 261 Within a mile from the church there are two passage boats over the Dee on a public road that passes over the Cryncross-Mouth. There are three bridges south west of the church within 1½ miles.

Peter Coulter
Page 262 Bridge over burn of Kinnerty.

Description of Aberluthnet Parish, Benholm, Garvok, Cyris, Glenbervie in Merns, Edzel in Angus 1724

Aberluthnet or Mary parish (Marykirk parish)
Page 262 Bridges over North Esk and other streams - see also 268 below.

Page 263 Highway runs north-south with bridges over streams.

Page 264 Mention of North Esk bridge and passage boat on this river. Mention of highway.

Description of the Parishes of Dunotar, Katerline and Kineff, Bervie, Arbuthnot in Merns 1724

Page 265 Highway goes close to Bridgeford towards Stonehaven.

Katerline & Kinneff
Page 266 (see also 258 above) “Highway betwixt N.water bridge to the North parts goes ½ mile North of Bridgefoord.”

Page 266 Handsome stone bridge.

Description of the Parishes of Fettercairn, Fordun, St Laurence and Mary Parish in Merns 1725

Page 267 Mention of “Northesque water bridge”, and another bridge.

Page 267 Bridge near Auchenblay and near Fordun.

Conveth or Lawrencekirk
Page 268 The village is three miles north of “north water bridge”, Timber bridge at Phesdou and stone bridge at Bridge of Lepit on the Kings highway between Lawrencekirk and Stonehaven. - see also page 270.

Mary or Aberluthnot
Page 268 (see also p 262) Mention of bridges, viz. “North water bridge”, bridge over the Luther and bridge below Englishmadie.

Page 269 Bridges at Auchenblay and near Fordun.

see also Strachan, Drumoak, Durres, Mary Culter

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743

Page 273 Village of Ferrydon on South Esk opposite Montrose - passage boat.

Page 273 Bridge over South Esk.

Page 274 Mention of northwater bridge (North Water of Esk).

Page 274 Church is 1/4mile from Northesk river bridge - this was built by Erskine of Dun who maintains it and in return receives customs from it.


Page 274 Mention of Northwater bridge.

Page 275 On highway between Forfar and Brechin.

Page 276 Ford near House of Lunan.

Description of the Parishes of Eassie & Nevay
Page 277 Bridge of Cookstoun over the River of Dean.
Page 278 The Kings highway from Perth to Brechin goes by Newmiln, Castletown and Eassie. A higher road often taken by carriers between these two places goes by “Templetoun, Balkerie and the Chappel in the said parishes.”

Description of the Paroch of Kettins
Page 280 “A very patent road from the Burgh of Dundie, lies through this village to Coupar Angus, and thence to Dunkel and Strathardle, and another from Perth, by the foot of the said hills (Sidlaws) Eastward to Glamis and Forfar.”

Description of the Paroches of Cortachie, and Clova, Angus 1743
Page 283 There is a stone bridge over the south Esk near the church in Cortachie.

Description of the Parochine of Tannadice, Angus 1744
Page 285 There is a passage boat over the Southesk, ¼ mile SE from the church and two others to the west as well as the North Bridge of Cortachie.
Page 287 There is a bridge over the Noran called the Courtfoord Bridge.

see also Glamis, Dundee, Brechin, Pert

Description of the Parish of Dunfermline in the Shire of Fife 1744
Page 292 A list of distances to towns like Stirling, Alloa, Coupar, Kircaldy etc are given and this probably indicates the existence of roads to these places.
Mention of the North Ferry.

A Short Geographical Description of the Parishes of Auchtermuchty and Collessie 1722
Page 295 The Kings highway from Cupar goes almost straight to the eastwards. South of the town there is a bridge over the Barroway water.
Page 296 There is an upland area to the NW (“a great congeries of hills”) through which the kings highway to Perth runs.

Additions to the Parishes of Abernethy and Colessie 1722
Page 297 These appear to be questions arising from the previous accounts. Under Abernethy the question is asked How lyes Abernethy from Perth, and Faulkland? Whereabouts is the bridge with 3 arches over water of Farge? The answer given is:
“Remember as I told you before that the ancient toun of Abernithie, it lys 5 miles Southest from Perth and 5 miles from Falkland; the Brige of Gavile with 3 arches is on the water of Farge a mile and a half northwest from Abernathie upon the highway betwixt Falkland and Perth on the west border of Abernathie parioch in that quarter, Likeways the ferre passage that goes over the River of Tay, its proper landing place is on the ground of Carne they call the Hamlot Carne, where they land on the north side of the river of Tay. Also that same ferrie crosses over the river of Arne and its landing is on the ground of Ester Rind Likewise the other ferrie, called Care or Care bot its landing is on the ground of wester rind, is upon the river of Arne. There is no passage of bots but upon the Abernethie side. There is likewise one ferrie passage on the est side of the Rind paroch but the botes belongs to the eastside of the river Tay they call the passage Inchu or Inchures but their landing on the Rind paroch is on the ground of Elchu: likewise the house of Elchue stands upon Tay side about 3 miles south est from Pearth.
N.B. the passage of the hughhed a mile North from Abernathie is for both foot and horse and it goes over both Tay and Arne. Its landing on the north side of Tay is on the ground of Carne. Likewise its landing on the north side of Arne is on the ground of Ester Rind. Als there is ane other passage about half a mile North west from Abernathie, only for foot called Care, which goes onely over the river of Arne and lands on West Rind.”
Note: Map based on 1913 half-inch OS map for Dundee, Perth & Stirling. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Description of Markinch, Fife 1725
Page 300 On the road north from Kirkcaldy to Falkland, we pass the bridge of Orc, then a mile further on, the bridge of Lochtie, then a bridge built by the shire over the Leven. The road enters Falkland parish at Paddockhall ford where it splits into three branches: east to Cupar, north to Newburgh, and west to Falkland and then Perth.
Another road leads from Kirkcaldy to Kennoway by Pathhead, Dysart, Galla Town and Camron Bridge over the Leven.
There is also an east-west road that runs west from Leven on the north side of the river. In this parish it divides with one branch going to Leslie and the other to this village to join the first road.
Finally there is a north-south road between Markinch and Weems that crosses two bridges: one called Shethrum bridge on the Leven and another called New Bridge just after the confluence of the Orc and the Lochtie.

Description of Beath Parish, Fifeshire 1724
Page 302 Bridges at Lochburn and Kelty - the king’s highway from Edinburgh to Perth passes through.

Description of the Parish of Monimaill, Fife 1723
Page 303 Roads between Coupar and Perth, the Southferry and waterside of Dundee.

A Short Description of the Parish of Newburgh, Fife 1722
Page 304 King’s highway between St Andrews and Coupar to Perth runs through the town. There are ferry boats on the Tay at Erroll. Road between Newburgh and Pitcarlie.

Parishes of Clackmannan, Tulliallan and Alloa 1722

Page 306 “The King’s highway from Edinburgh comes buy Queensferry and Toriburn to Clackmannan.”

Alloa 1722
Page 309 Mention of Rumbling Bridge and Bridge of Tulibody.

Description of the Parish of Lecropt, Perth/Stirlingshire 1723
Page 310 The King’s highway divides after the Bridge of Allan, one branch leading from Dunblane to Strathearn and Perth, the other to Monteith and the west Highlands.

Description of Dunblane Parish
Page 311 Number of bridges mentioned. Highways from Kilbride to Dunblane and Stirling, Stirling to Perth, and to Crieff and the North Highlands. At Ardoch the “neather“ bridge consists of four land stales of stone covered with planks of oak and flags of stone; at Kinbuck there is a similar bridge with five land stalls and covered with timber and flags.

Morwenside, Slamanna, Falkirk, Bothkennar, Airth, Larbert, Dunipace in Stirlingshire 1723
Page 316 Mention of Linlithgow Bridge. Muir road between Linlithgow and Glasgow - this runs through Dalquhairn (Avonbridge) and is used to drive cattle from the Falkirk markets to England. Two bridges on Parkhall Burn: one near the kirk, the other called Manuel Burn bridge.
High road from Falkirk to Bo’ness with a ford; there are three bridges over this river - at St Laurence Kirk (Slamannan), Dalquhairn (Avonbridge), and Linlithgow Bridge. There is also a ferry at Bearcrofts.
The King’s high road from Linlithgow to Falkirk passes through the parish.

Bridges as above - the Muir Road runs to the south side of two lochs. There is another bridge over Castlehill burn near the kirk.

There is a bridge over the Reidburn on the Muir road from Falkirk to Glasgow, near to Cumbernauld. The village is on the Glasgow to Edinburgh road (via Linlithgow).
At Camelon "there is to be found vaults, causieways and Roman coins." Bridge at Parkend on the Linlithgow road.
Four bridges on the Mumeral Burn. Mention of road to Slamannan. Bridges over the West and East Burns and a ford on the road to Airth at Stenhouse Damhead.
The road westwards divides at Tophilburn for Glasgow and Stirling, and the Glasgow road itself divides a bit further on at Boogton Crosshead where there is a branch to Denny & Dunipace. There are several bridges in the area.
At Bonnyhouse the deal road and muir roads to Glasgow divide (note: John G Harrison: Improving
the roads and bridges of the Stirling area c 1660-1706, PSAS, Vol 135 (2005), pps 287-307 suggests that deal is dale or valley road).

The entry is interesting enough to reproduce in full:
“The publick roads, abstracting these to the Kirk, which for the most pairt every one has from his house, are one from Bo:ness or Linlithgow thro the Kerses and passes Carron at the forsaid ferry (Newtons or Burns ferry to Airth) either by boat when the tide is in, or by horse, when the sea is out, and then by the road at the Mains to Airth or from the forsaid ferry north by Orcharthead and Stonehouses greens to Higgins Neuck. There is a foot road from Bo:ness thro the Kerses to Airth, which passes at a ferry below Newton called the Grange Pow mounth or ferry green point. The passages from Falkirk to Bothkenner are either by the ferry at the coal shore which is in the parish of Larbert, and a quarter of a mile southwest from Bothkenner kirk, or by the Newtons or Burns ferry, or to ride at low water at the Backerowford. This is a short quarter of a mile South of the Kirk; that a large half mile south southeast of the Kirk.”
There are three large bridges over the Carron, viz. Carronbridge, Dennybridge and Larbert bridge on the Stirling road. There are fords at Dorroter, Larbert, Dunipace, Denny, Gennershaw etc. There is a harbour at Greenbrae where coal is loaded.
Bridge near Pocknave mill called the running furrow bridge.
Note: Map based on 1913 half-inch OS map for Edinburgh & Lanark. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

Ferry over the Forth at Higgin’s Neuk.
There are four bridges on the South Pow: on the Falkirk to Stirling road; Abbytown bridge on the Airth to Falkirk road; the Milnbridge at the mill, and the Newmills bridge.
“The publick road from Higgons Neuck is either by the Newmill bridge and so to Airth, or thro’ the Halls of Airth, and so on to the Moss Land or along the Long Dyke.”

Mention of the running furrow bridge and the coal road to the shore.
There is a bridge in the village and a nearby ford.
“Two miles North east from Larbert upon the edge of the Kerss, stands the house of Quarrell and upon the west side of the foot road from Falkirk to Airth, either when they pass at the west boat called Blacks boat, which is a little below Stenhouse dame head upon Carron, or when they cross at the foreshore: both roads meets at the foot of Quarrell yeards: from thence is a fine road to Airth either by horse or foot called the Long Dyke.”
The road called the Mossband is a horse road from Falkirk to Airth. On the north side of Carron at the “coal shore” there is a ferry from Falkirk to Airth. Boats call in near here for coal.
The Glasgow road from Airth passes to the north of Larbert then to Dunnipace and Bonnybridge road where it joins the Falkirk to Glasgow road.

Mention of the Airth to Glasgow road and bridges at Larbert, Bonnybridge and Dennybridge.

See also Buchanan and Fintry

Description of Six parishes in Perthshire 1724
Page 338 Bridge over the Teath near confluence with Ardoch Water.

Page 339 Ferries on the Forth at Dripp, Badd, Killbeg and Frew which also has a ford. Half a mile above Frew is a stone bridge over the Goodie.

Port (of Menteith)
Page 341 Ford and ferry at Gartartan.
There is a tradition that Moss Flanders was once under water - in proof of this there is a stone with a hole in it where there was an iron ring to which boats could be attached. It is called Clachnan Loang or the ship or boat stone and is sited at the hill of Gartmore.

Page 342 Bridge beside the church - this was destroyed by order of the government in 1715 but has not yet been repaired.

Description of Kippen, Buchanan, Drymenn, Balfron, Fintree and Gargunnock in Stirlingshire. 1724

Page 346 There is a ferry on Loch Lomond at Rowardennan. A local tradition avers that the old loch was restricted to the narrow section above Rowardennan and that the wider part of the loch had once been land. In times of drought boatmen are said to have seen ruins of houses under the water. (note: the Statistical Accounts of the area refer to stepping stones at the head of the loch now being 5 or 6 feet under water).

Page 350 Bridge near Culcreuch, and another between Killearn and Drymen parishes. At Catter just south of Drymen church there is a ford and a ferry boat and another ferry boat at Cullnamune, near Buchanan church.

Page 353 Ferry boat on Enrick.

Page 354 The Leven is fordable only in times of great drought. There are ferry boats at Bonhill and at Balloch.


An Account of the Remarkable Places and Paroch Churches in the Shire of Selkirk 1722
Page 355 Selkirk: There is a boat over the water of Ettrick.
Mention of the King’s high street that goes to the south borders.
Page 358 Bridge of Ettrick.
Page 359 Fine bridge at Yarrow.
Page 361 “Below the foot of Etricke the ¼ pairt of a myle or therby is two boats both for foot, horse and packs crossing the river of Tweed at a place called Baldsyd which toun and boats belongs to Scot of Galla; thir boats being of great use for passage from the south borders to Edr.”
Page 362 Two highways lead from Selkirk to Kelso.
Page 363 On Kershope hill “is a cross called Taitts cross where is to be seen boughted and milked upwards of twelve thousand ewes in the month of June about eight a clock at night at one view.”
“Selkirk is the onlie road from the south borders to Edr. Not the only but the ordinary.” (note: some distances between border towns are given that probably imply routes).

Description of Annandale 1723
Page 365 Several pages listing distances between places are given, some of which are likely to relate to roads but others like gentlemen’s seats only giving their position relative to a town.
Reference to the Roman road on page 372 - “ To the North of Woodhouse about a quarter of a mile on the high road or Barras gate (which is very remarkable for being the Roman military way and goes from the Borders even to the West seas, pairts of which are yet very firm especially at Gratney and Wamphray)…..”

Description Parish of Newbottle, Midlothian 1722
Page 373 Mention of bridge of Newbotle and the Maiden Bridge.

An Account of the Paroche of Gladsmure, East Lothian 1723
Page 374 The King’s highway between Edinburgh and Haddington passes through the parish.

Description of Aberlady Paroch, East Lothian 1723

Page 374 The King’s highway from Edinburgh to Athelstonfoord, Dirletown and Whitekirk passes through the village of Ballencrief.
Page 375 There is also a King’s highway runs through Aberlady from Edinburgh and Preston Pans to Dirletoun and N Berwick.

Haddington Parish, East Lothian 1726
Page 375 There is a road 40 foot broad running to the port of Aberlady. Mention of the bridge and a bridge leading to the ruined abbey.
The town is on the post road “12 miles from Edinburgh 8 from Dunbar 14 from Cockburns strath 12 from Lauder and 28 from Berwick.”

see also Edinburgh; Haddington; E & W Lothian

Geographical Desciption of Lady(kirk) Parish in the Merse 1725
Page 380 There is a ferry boat called Bates boat much used to bring coal in from Northumberland. There are also four fords.

Description of the United Parishes of Graitney & Reidkirk post-1710
Page 383 There are four fords over the Kirtle: Longrigs; Milnflat West; Reidkirk Miln; old miln of Graitney.
The Sark has seven fords: Reburnfoot; Goldieslee; Atchisons bank; Newtoun; Barroweslacks; Alisonebank; Lambfoord.
Page 385 Barrows gate (Roman road).
Page 387 The barrow gate is the road to Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as England. There is another King’s high road that runs from Dumfries through Annan to join the Barrow gate - “all the Kings high ways from England to Scotland and from Scotland to England joyne there except roads of Courtesie.”

Description. Parish of Langholm 1726
Page 389 When Langholm was built in 1629 it was required that the street between the houses should be at least 30 foot wide.
Trade with Carlisle, Annan, Dumfires and Hawick to all of which there must have been routes.
Page 590 Bridges over the Ewes, Vachop and Tarras.
“There is a noble stone bridge of 3 arches over the Esk about a mile below the church, 2 of them very large about 44 foot diameter built about 26 years agoe. A boat used in former times to goe at Langholm toun, still called the boat ford, now there’s no use for it.”

Description of the Parish of Ewis
Page 394 Tradition that monks from Melrose or Jedburgh would come here to baptise and conduct marriages in this parish.

Kilpatrick Durham
Page 395 Mention of the bridge of Urr and of the Edinburgh road
Page 397 “The way from Edinburgh to Kirkcudbright comes by Penpont, Glencairn, then Gairistoun (about two miles and a half north of Mule.) then to the Mule through gate betwixt Mule and Margloly in Irongray thence south through Kilpatrick Mure called the Galagate thence to the church. thence to bridge of Urr, to Carlingwork &c.
From Dumfries to New Galloway ther is a way by Shawhead, Lochinkit, Knock’droket in Nether Bar near Crogo Trowhern &c.
The droves of cattle coming from New Galloway to England come by Trowhen, Knockdoket then a little north of Lochinkit till they come to Gal’gate and then follow it southward till within about half a mile of Easter Marwhin, and so on to Larg and then to Dunfries &c.
The best way but somewhat longer from Dumfreis to New Galloway is by Lochruttongate near the church, Miltoun of Urr, Kilpatrick church. Kilwhamedy. Parton Shirmers New Galloway.
From Dumfries to Kirkcudbright the way is by Miltoun, Grange, Bridge of Urr, Carling work &c. But if the water be litle, the nearer way is by Miltoun Haught Carlingwork &c this is most patent for coaches and carts and nearer.”
Page 398 The Water of Urr “hath a stone bridge of two arches at Nether Kellie hanned a ruinous timber bridge at Corsack.”
Stone bridge over Kirtlebride burn.
Page 400 Weekly market at Bridge of Urr; also fairs.

Page 404 Bridge at Polkill ¼ mile above the church.
Page 405 Change houses on the Edinburgh & Glasgow road at Tonotrie and Craigdens.
Page 407 At Bardrochwood there is a bridge over the water of Polneur.

Description of some Parishes in the Jurisdiction of Kyle in Ayrshire 1723
Page 409 The village is on the road from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Air and Portpatrick. Bridge over the Pow Burn.
Page 411 Bridge at Air.

Page 412 “bridge of Barskimming over the water of Air of one great arch the highest and largest to be in the kingdome.”

Page 414 The village lies on the Kilmarnock to Air road.

Geographical Description of the Paroch of Bothwell
Page 415 Small village by the church on the highway between Glasgow and Hamilton which is used by all going to England by the west road.
Page 416 Bothwell Bridge. The bridge belongs to the Government but the town of Hamilton can charge a toll.
Page 417 There is a stone bridge over the North Calder about a mile west of the little village of Udiston - this is on the highway between Glasgow and Hamilton. There is another bridge over the North Calder at Aitkenhead.
Page 421 There is a good stone bridge over the south Calder at Carphins corn milns.
About a quarter of a mile west from Jerviston there used to be “a very good stone bridge upon the water called the Campbridge but the vestige of it can scarce be known. this way is very dangerous to strangers, especially under cloud of night in regard it is full of coal pits, some of them just upon the way side, which have been fatall to severall.”
Page 422 A mile downstream from this there is a “tolerable good foord” near Orbiston corn mill on the highway between Glasgow and Lanark.
Near Orbiston House there is a bridge just before the South Calder joins the Clyde.
Page 423 The King’s Highway between Edinburgh and Glasgow by the Kirk of Shotts goes the whole length of the parish. It enters Bothwell at the wine foord at little above (North) Calder Bridge and leaves Bothwell at a house called Sandy foord one mile east of the house of Lachope.

Memorandum about the Paroches of Inchenan and Ereskin 1725

Page 424 “At this Kirk is a ferryboat with a handsome dyke of hewen stone on both sides of the water, for the conveniency of passengers and a very good change house for their accomodation. Ordinarly when the tyde is out and no speat in the rivers Cart and Gryf this water is ridden safely and people on foot doe wade throu it.”
The post road from Glasgow to Greenock passes through the parish.

Page 424 Post road from Glasgow to Greenock passes through.
Page 425 Change house on the post road at Corsshill, halfway between Greenock and Glasgow. Beyond this the road gradually descends until it is close to the Clyde, which it follows to Greenock.

see also A Description of Renfrewshyre; Renfrewshire; Renfrewshire

Description of the paroches of Ellon & Logie Buchan
Page 427 There are passing boats at Ellon and at Kinharache.
There is no public road through Logie Buchan.

Description of some paroches in Merns and Aberdenshire

Page 428 Public highway passes through to the Cailuementh. Bridges on Fench, Dy, Spitel Burn.

Drumack (Drumoak)
Page 429 Passage boat on the Dee.

Doors (see also Dures)
Page 429 Two boats on the Dee, ½ mile east and west of the church. Public highway goes north by the Cryn crosmonth.

Mary Culter
Page 430 Passage boat over the Dee. Timber bridge on Mary Culter Burn.

Volume II
Copy of volume II on Internet Archives
see also Pont Maps website (National Library of Scotland)

A Description of Carrict; Presbytrie of Forfar
A Large Description of Galloway
Ane Description of Certain Pairts of the Highlands of Scotland
A Description of Renfrewshyre; Balvenie & Mortlach; Keith, Kintore, Aberdeen; Aberdeenshire; Moray; Aberdeen
Cowell; Knoidart; Loch Tay/Loch Erin; Urwhoddin; Connon River; Ard Meanach;The Draught of Charroun River and Okell River
Noats of Lennox & Sterlingshyr; Skye; Distances in Carrict; Divers Distances; Kyle; Cunningham
Divers Distances & Lengths of Rivers (mostly SW Scotland); Distances in Badenoch; Noats about St Jhonstoun & in Strathearne; Braid Albayne
Divers Distances in Lennox, Sterlinshyre, Clydsdail, Cunningham; Ainrick, Blayne & Forth Rivers; Northsyd of Teeth River; Description of the Shire of Edinburgh

A Description of Carrict
Page 1 At low water it is possible to walk across the river Doon where it runs into the sea.
Page 2 Many cows and bullocks driven to England and within Scotland each year.
Page 4 Mention of bridge at Alloway.
Page 5 Mention of road between Maybole and Ayr.
Page 9 There is a tradition of a now vanished town near the castle at Turnberry where a causeway was to be seen.
Page 13 Mention of bridge at Girvan.
Page 17 Description of the streets and lanes in Maybole.
Page 19 Kirk Dominie fair still operating.

Presbetrie of Forfar

Page 26 Two great bridges on the Carbit, one of stone and one of timber.
Sklait carried to Dundie on horseback.
Page 30 Details of extensive trade.
Page 40 Bridge in the town. Details of fairs.
Page 41 Bridge over the North Esk.

A Large Description of Galloway 1684
Page 60 The shortest way from Corsemichael requires you to cross the Dee at the boat of Balmaghie and also at Kirkcudbright.

Page 60ff Mentions of the Boat of Rone, viz. where the Dee flows into Loch Ken, for Balmaclellan, Dalry, Carsphairn and Balmaghie parishes.

Page 72 The old town of Wigton was sited one mile to the east of where the town is today. The spot is flooded by the tide each day.
Page 73 There are markets for horses, cattle and cloth which are attended by people from Annandale, Glasgow, Edinburgh etc.

Page 108 The Urr is fordable in many places and there is a bridge at the Bridge of Urr. There is a boat called the boat of Rone where the Ken and Dee join.

Page 110 “There is another river called Munnach, which hath its rise from the hills of Carrick, and after many flexures and turnings, for in the road betwixt the Rownetree Bourne in Carrick and Palgoune in Monnygaffe parish which will be about the space of four miles, the River of Munnach is cross’d, if I remember right, about sixteen or seventeen times.”
There is a ford at Machirmore near Minnigaffe and one near Wigton.

Page 111 Four miles from Minnigaff there is a place called the Saddle-loup on the road where riders have to dismount as it is so dangerous.
Page 112 The Cree at highwater is three miles wide between Wigton and Kirkmabreck also called Ferriton. At low water it can be forded but a guide is needed as it is very dangerous.

Page 114 Although the Palanton, a small river running into the sands at Glenluce can be forded, it can be dangerous.

Ane Description of Certain Pairts of the Highlands of Scotland
Page 145 Mention of ferries at Kilmaglash (Strachur) on Loch Fyne and Port-Chregan on north side of Loch Fyne.
Page 147 There is a ferry on Loch Awe at Portsoinghan. The way there from Inverary is very dangerous in “time of evil stormie weather and in winter”
Page 150 There is a ferry between Dunstaffnage and Gonnell in Lorne (presumably North Connell) which is a very difficult passage.
Page 154 Ferry of Sion (Shian Ferry) between Beandirloch and the Appin.
Page 155 Ferry of Lismore.
Page 170 Glengarry “In the water or river of Airgaik there was seen in the zeare 1620 yeirs the fourteenth of August, the tennants and gentle-men of the Countrey being at the building of a bridge of timber on the said river, at the latter end of the making of the bridge, there appeared Innumerable Adders in this water of Airgaick Immediatlie efter the finitione of the said bridge. The gentlemen and tennants perceiving the Adders and all the water in such a pairt a litle above the bridge full of cruell and terrible beasts and certaine of the biggest of the adders did lope high above the water, and certaine others of them comeing to the land, did goe through the hadder and grass so fast that the whole Companie which did behold, were much affraied at this terrible and Marvelous sight. And at last they were forced to leave their work and depart from that place, which they did say, if there had bein such sight at the beginning of the work, they had never did it.” - see also page 524
This may have been Loch Arkaig - see map by Robert Gordon and 1st edition of the 1" map, sheet 62

Page 174 There is a ferry between Glenelg and Slait.

Page 178 In Barra people come from five miles away to collect cockles at Kilbarray.

Page180 In Uist several churches and lands have been overrun by the sands and the sea.


These maps are based on a map of Scotland produced by Eric Gaba and made available on Wikimedia under a Creative Commons licence and Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License. With thanks. See original on Wikimedia.

A Description of Renfrewshyre
Page 201 Bridge in Pollockshaws.
Page 202 Bridge in Paisley over the Cart.
Page 205 Bridge over the Black Cart at the mouth of the Loch of Semple near Eliestoun.
Kelly bridge (Clyde coast on border with Ayrshire).

Notes for a Description of the two shires of Aberdeen and Banff in Scotland beyond the Mountains.
Balvenie or Mortlach

Page 274 King’s highway to Elgin passes near Auchluncart.
Page 274 Keith is on the king’s highway. It has a weekly market which draws people from the higher ground.
286 Kintore is on the king’s highway.
Pages 286/287 Bridges.

Note to the Map of Aberdeenshire and Banffshire
Page 290 Bridges in Aberdeen over the Dee and the Don.

A Description of the two Shires of Aberdeen and Banff
Page300 Timber for the wood of Pananich near Glen Muick is conveyed to Aberdeen but not by the rough and stony road.
Page301 Kincardine, 18 miles from Aberdeen, is on the king’s highway.
Page303 Bridge over Don in Aberdeen.

Page 305 Details of fairs in the shire all of which brought people from the surrounding localities and from further afield. Mention of road from Aberdeen to Strathbogie in connection with St Serf’s Fair. There is another fair at Kincardine on the Dee “by which those who journey across the Grampians into Moray or farther north must pass.”

Description of Moray
Page 310 The Spey has no bridges and hardly any fords.


NJ9203 : Bridge of Dee, Aberdeen by Lizzie

Bridge of Dee, Aberdeen
  © Copyright Lizzie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Page503 “Two miles from the town, travellers to the south come to the bridge over the River Dee. The piers are eight in all, united by seven arches of square-cut stone. Scotland shows none more beautiful. It was founded at the expense of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, about the year 1518. The work was superintended by Gavin Dunbar, his executor, who on the completion of the bridge in the year 1527 gifted his estate of Ardlair to the people of Aberdeen, so that with its annual rents the fall of the bridge should be provided against for the future, or if damaged it should be repaired. Near the bridge also stood the chapel of the tutelar Mary, which too was destroyed in the last century, while the bridge is still safe. “


NJ9409 : Brig o' Balgownie by Lyn Mcleod

Brig o' Balgownie

  © Copyright Lyn Mcleod and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Page 508 Description of the Bridge of Don with it “joining the banks of the river with a single, but very wide arch, nor could you easily find one like it, with its substructure mostly of stone dressed and squared. Both its abutments are fixed in position on a rocky foundation, and with curve break the force of the strong current One might say that nature pointed out the site for the bridge. “
“Who the builder of the bridge across the river was, no one knows. It is said that the gallant King Robert the Bruce, when he expelled Henry Cheyne, Bishop of Aberdeen, from his Episcopal see, and indeed from Scotland, ordered the annual revenues of this bishop to be devoted to pious uses, and that part of that money was spent on the building of this fine bridge, which is also probable.”

Cowell (this and some of the other items are repeats of previous entries above)
Page 511 Ferries mentioned: ferry of Lochfyne at Kilmaglais which is 15 miles from Dunoon and Port Chregan on the north side of Loch Fyne, three miles from Inverary. There is also a ferry on Loch Awe.

Page 515 Ferry of Gonnaill in Lorne.
Page 516 Ferry of the Sian between Benderloch and the Appin.
Ferry to Lismore from Appin.

Page 524 “Anno 1620 in the beginning of August, the people of the countrey were building a bridge upon the river Airkaig, at the end of the work they report they saw an infinit number of adders swymming upon the water, a litle above the bridge, leaping theron, wherof many landing creeped away throch the
grass and hather, to the great terrour of the beholders, “-see also page 170

Memorandum for Knodeord (Knoidart)
Page 526 There is a ferry from Killchuimen to Slait in Skye.

Noates of Distances of places about head of Loch Tay, Loch Erin (Loch Earn) etc
Page 538 Some distances between places are given (which probably imply routes between these places) - among the entries are a mention of the ferry on Loch Awe and that St Johnstoun and Ballach at the foot of Loch Tay are 26 miles away by Dunkeld but only 18 by the nearest way which is through Glen Almond. (see also p595 below)

Urwhodin (an area on north side of Loch Ness, about 10 miles from Inverness - see Blaeu. Probably identical to or covering much of Urquhart parish)
Page 550 Some distances between places in Urwhodin, are given which may imply routes between them. One entry is a specific mention of a route, viz. “Item Lochen Ruddich the litle as we pass from Urquhodin to Invernes the hie way.”

Connel or Connen River
Page 551 Mention of a cobil (boat) “whair we cum over” on south side of Connel.

Ard Meanach (the Black Isle just north of Inverness - see Blaeu)Page553 Distances between places in Ard Meanach. Mention of the ferry over the Connel.

The Draught of Charroun River and Okell River (these can be seen on Blaeu's map of Northern Scotland - Innercarroun is opposite Bonar Bridge, Carbsdaill is near Invershin, 3 or 4 miles to the NW and Ochtow is a few miles up the Oykell)
Page 569 “Now to go from Innercharroun west up the ferry, the way to Stra Okell is Carbsdaill on the ferry syd, a long myl string way but the bending of the ferry maketh the jomey a great deal longer.
It is betwix Ochtow and Carbsdaill 7 myl down the Ferry Seitt.”

Various places on “the way alongs the Ferry syd fra Innercharroun to Tayn” are given, with distances.
(Note: Map based on a map of Scotland produced by Eric Gaba and made available on Wikimedia under a Creative Commons licence and Commons:GNU_Free_Documentation_License. With thanks. See original on Wikimedia.)

Noats of Lennox and Sterlingshyr gotten fra Gentlemen of that countrey
15 May 1644

Page 578 Starting with this section many distances are given between localities in various districts and probably imply routes. See the section Roads in the 1600’s on this website for details of some of these entries, particularly Upper & Lower Clydesdale and Stirlingshire. Some entries, however, look more like topographical description giving the position of houses and farms in relation to rivers and towns - see NLS for more details.
Entries that refer explicitly to a route/highway etc are noted below.

The Isle of Skiana commonlie called the Skie
Page 582 “Item the ferry toun under Binscard called Scosa. “
“Item the hie way throw thois hills is called Bellachan-Scard. “

Distances in Carrict and the adjacent Shyre
Page 584 Glen Ap is in Galloway in the way betwix Chappel and Balintrae betwix a place cald the thrie standing stains whilk is in the hie way and the said Glen Ap is 6 myl. and heir endeth Galloway and beginneth Carrict.

Divers Distances
Page 586 See Roads in the 1600’s: Upper & Lower Clydesdale for more details.

Page 587 “The town of Ayre standeth on the southsyd of the river with a fair stone bridge of ane arche, a good port, and much frequented.”
Page 589 “Irwing toun is on the northsyd therof at the sea with a fair stone bridge, heir is a convenient haven for ships.”

Page 590 “Betwix Stewarton kirk and Corsell is Cochelvy and betwix them is
Chapil burn with a bridge. North fra Corsell another bridge on Chapill.”
Page 591 Stone bridge in Kilwinning.
Page 591 On the poynt therof standeth the Castle Paincors. following the coast twa myl is Hunterstoun, and here you touch the sea agayn in the way to Largis.”

Divers Distances and Lenths of Rivers (mostly SW Scotland)
Page 592 Annand town in Annandail and Edinburg. 56 myl. the way is up the hail river Annand to the springs still north then down Tweed fra the springs while you fall in Lothian the draught of Tweed falling that lenth almost nord-east.”

Page 593 “Dumbarton and the ferry of Lochgher as you goe to Rosneth 8 m and 2 to Rosneth fra the ferry.”
“The hie way fra Edinburgh to Glasco is throw Falkirk.”
“LochGilb makes a bow in the way from Innerara to Tarbat castel and makes it 28. but the straight will be 26 be the Marquis Argyls relation from whom I have it. “
Mention of bridge of Stirling.
Page 594 Mention of bridge of Ruthven and Brig of Ern.

Noats of distances for Badenoch
Page 595 “Ruffen in Bodenoch and Elgyn ar distant the nearest way 36 myl. the way is by Creig Elachy, whilk is foment Rothimurcus throw Bulladorn, by the kirk of Duchel to Lochenduyrs, holding the southsyd therof, to the castell of Dunsale then throw the Glen of Pluscardie. “
The reference to the “way” suggests that the immediately following distances (mostly NE Scotland, Perth, Stirling) also indicate routes. Among these are:
“Balachastell Ruffen 16 myl, viz 10 to Rothimurcus thence 6 myl to Ruffen all this long way. “

Noats about St. Jhonstoun and in Stratherne
Page 595 Mention of Bridge of Earn.

Braid Albayne
Page 598 “Ther is a way from the yate of Blair in Athoil to Ruffen in Badenoch maid be David Cuming Earle of Athoill for carts to pass with wyne. and the way is called Rad-na-pheny or way of wane wheills. it is layd with calsay in sundrie parts. “

Divers Distances in Lennox, Sterlinshyre, Clydsdail, Cunningham 1646

Page 604-607 Again many of the entries on these four pages undoubtedly imply routes - specific references are:
Page 605 Wigtoun 12 Ferry toun
Brig of Drumfreis and brig of Cluden 2. m.
Brig of Cluden and Brig of Dunskarr 2 m.

Page 606 Bargeny on Girven river 3 m fra the sea, 5 m fra Moniboll
the way to the Chappell.

Seats upon the bounds betwixt Ainrick Blayne and Forth Rivers
Page 609 Mention of a coble (boat) at Wester Frew and a bridge over the Guydie.

The Northsyd of Teeth River
Page 612 Mentions of the brig of Doun and a bridge at Derrara.

A Description of the Shire of Edinburgh
Page 629 There are bridges on the Almond at Upper Cramond, Hallistonum (Illieston), and at Calder.

Page 631 The bridge at Musselburgh has three arches.
On the North Esk there are bridges at Dalkeith, Lasswade, and Roslin.
On the South Esk there are four stone bridges: one below Dalkeith, another below Newbotle, the third at the head of Newbotle, and the fourth at Dalhoussie.

Page 635 There are many pack horses in the shire which are used to bring in fuel, food and drink to Edinburgh, as well as merchandise to and from Leith.

Volume III
Copy of volume III on Internet Archives

Haddington; Orkney; Aberdeen
Description of East Lothian; Midlothian; Renfrew; Lanark
Description of Roxburgh; Selkirk; Tweeddale
Teviotdale; Sherrifdom of Selkirk; Berwickshire or the Mers
Penpont; Renfrewshire; Mearns; Orkney

Page 65 The town is on the post road to Edinburgh. Bridge in the town with another bridge downriver where there was an nbbey founded in 1182 on its north side. There is a forty foot highway to the port at Aberlady; and another highway 80 foot wide through Gladsmoor, 3 miles west of the town.

Page 84 Ordinary ferry for Orkney at Duncansbay.

Survey of the Town of Aberdeen 1685
Page 89 “It’s not to be omitted the Town hath set up at every entry of the Town, seats of hewn stone for the accommodation of old men and women going to horse, which is very usefull, and a comely thing.”
In the past a ferry boat had to be called from Torrie; now there is one at the mouth of the Dee, near the Blockhouse.
Page 90 The causey of the Castle Gate has now been repaired (it was so hollow the dubs and rains stood in pools) some 50 years after the other streets were causeyed.

Page 94 One can pass on foot or horse between North and South Uist at low tide.
Mention of a highway at New yeard near Paisley.

Page104 Bridge at Broray (9 miles east of Dornoch) in Sutherland.

Page 105 There is a hill in Southerland called Ord very high, and of dificile passage, by the which men do travel into Catteyness.

Description of East Lothian
Page 111 Six bridges on River of Tine - Lintoun Brigs, Abbey of Haddington, Haddington, Pencaitland, Ormestoun, Nether Cranstoun.
Page 114 “Only three passages fro Draughts viz at Cockburnspath on the East, at the Myln know in the middle, and Soutray on the west, and all thir three passages very uneasy.”

Description of Midlothian or Edinburghshire
Page 116 Three bridges on the Almond: at Over Cramond, Hall Liston and Calder.
Page 117 Mention of South Bridge of Calder.
Gogar Burn starts at Kirk Newton and runs 5 miles to join the Water of Amand a “little be east the Easter Brigs.”
Page 118 Bridge at Musselburgh & Pinkie.
Page 119 The North Esk has bridges at Dalkieth, Lesswade and Rosline.
Page 120 The South Esk has bridges at Dalkeith, Newbotle, at the head of the Toun of Newbotle and one at Dalhousie.
Page 123 In Leith a great many horses are kept by carriers for carrying from Leith to Edinburgh.
Page 124 Tradition that there were underground passes on the Antonine Wall running between Castle Cary, Barhill and Kirkintilloch.

Description of the Sherrifdom of Renfrow etc
Page 127 Bridges in the shire are Paslay, Pollok, Johnstoun, Ramforlie, Calder, Kellie and Allerslie etc.

Page 127 Ferry on water of Cree, Wigtonshire.

Description of the Sherrifdom of Lanerick
Page 131 Distance of Errikstane to Partick Bridge is 40 miles.
Page 132 Mention of Montjadifoord near Lamington.
Page 133 Mention of Calder Bridge (on North Calder) and Glasgow Bridge.

Description of the Sherrifdom of Roxburgh
Page 136 “Jedd Water beginning at the Quheill Causey in the border of England runs to Jedburgh where it has a bridge….”
Mention of Ancram Bridge near confluence of Gall Water and Teviot.
“Bowmont Water begins at the Cocklaw (border with England), runs eastwards till it comes to the Strawfoord and there tynes its name and goes to England.”
Page 137 “The mountains therein are the Cocklaw (Cheviots)…which is only passable at some few parts.”

Description of the Sherrifdom of Selkirk
Page 138 “Tuna (tributary of the Water of Ettrick) runs from Tomluther Crocestane…”

Description of Tweeddale
Page 141 “The mountains betwixt Minchmoor and Henderland are “black and craggy, of a melancholy aspect, with deep and horrid Precipices, a weary and comfortless piece of way for travellers.”
Page 145 Mention of Cauldstane Slap
Water of Lyne runs into Tweed near the Bridge of Lyne.
There are four bridge on the Lyne: Brighouse Bridge, Bridge of Lyne, Lyntoun, and Newlands (of timber on a stone stool).
Stainypath near this river.
Regarding Linton, “the inhabitants of this town have still been a gentle and courteous people accussed partly by their continual converse with strangers upon the road this being the high way from Edinburgh to Moffat, Dumfries and Carlisle.”
The greatest sheep market in the south of Scotland is held in Linton.
Page 147 A Cold Coat near Romanno (Note: some say that this place name indicates a Roman road).
Page 149 Church and town of Lyne - there is a possible Roman fort here and a laid causey half a mile long can be seen.
Page 150 There is an old bridge on the Water of Manner at the confluence with the Tweed and a bridge at Peebles.

Information concerning Teviotdale otherwise called the Shire of Roxburgh
Page156 At Roxburgh castle there were bridges over both the Tweed and Teviot.
Page157 More than 10,000 loads of corn are sent to Newcastle each year.
Page159 There are “the vestiges of a street that goes from the Border, viz from Hownam to Tweed called the Roman Causey, commonly called by the vulgar the rugged Causey.”

Description of the Sherrifdom of Selkirk or Ettrick Forest
Page 164 Galashiels has a weekly market and several fairs each year.
Page 165 At Deuchar there is a bridge over the water of Yarrow.
Page 166 There is a stone bridge over the water of Ettrick near Kirkhope close to the confluence of Yarrow and Ettrick.
Page 167 Other bridges over the Ettrick are near Howfoord, Qwhittlebrae, Hottrolben, Inner Huntie
Page 169 “There is a well at Philiphauch not inferior to Moffat which is much frequented.”

A Description of Berwickshire or the Mers
Page 170 The only bridges over the Tweed are that of Peebles with 5 arches and that at Berwick with 15 arches. There had been one at Melrose, “the pillars whereof still stand.” A bridge is planned for Kelso.
Page 174 Fairs at Lauder.
Page 175 Mention of Redpath near Earlston.
Page 176 Mention of Smailholm Spittle.
Page 180 Duns has a “great weekly market” and fairs.
Page 185 “Few bridges. A timber one at Lauder over Leider, Stockbridge upon the head of Eden, three over Blacater - one at Westruther, one at Greenlaw, a third at Fogo, two over Whittier - one at Longformacus, the other at Chirnside, one over Ey at Aytoun, one over Ell at the Press, ere it enter Ey, one at Cockburnspath on the Post Rode.”

A Brief Description of the bounds of Presbytery of Penpont, being the upper part of the Sherrifdom of Nidesdale
Page 198 Coal pit at Parbrock with curious pillars shaped by the Picts.
Page 201 Dalvine standing in a Pass betwixt 2 hills near to Crawford Moor. “Upon the north side of which pass lyeth the lands of the Lordship of Castlehill, whereon stands the Castle of Durisdeer upon another Pass called the Well-path that leadeth to Crawford-Moor…” Edward I garrisoned this to keep the pass.
Page 202 Bridge to Dumlanrig; bridge of Drumlanrig near Enock.
Page 202 Penpont “is denominate Penpont from a Penny payed at this place for building and upholding of a Wooden Bridge over Nith betwixt Penpont and Morton long since ruined near to a village called Thornhill.”
Page 205 Moniave has a “weekly Mercat and some Fairs.“
Page 208 Near Closeburn there is an old chapel and a trench for keeping of a Pass - near to Clawghrisa and Over and Nether Algirth.

Page 213 Mention of bridge of Paisley.
Page 214 There is considerable carriage between Port Glasgow and Glasgow. Boats can reach Paisley and Renfrew.
Page 215 Reference to an old Roman street from Erikstone in the head of Eusdale to Mauls Mire (Watling Street) and a camp at Paisley.
Page 217 List of churches appended to Paisley.
Page 213 “The Black Cart rises Lochwinnoch Loch at the mouth of which it is many times not fordable. Runs dead and low through the mosses.”

Page 237 “Among the Grampian Hills that fall into the Merns, these are remarkable: the East most Carmarthen a passage to Deeside, upon the West side thereof, called Slug of Gellan. The next Carlaouk. The third Clochnaben, which signifies, as some say, a White Stone, because upon the head thereof, there is a stone as big as a little mountain…..”
“Cowy mouth is ten miles in breadth, dangerous in former times to pass, by reason of Robbers, but for the most part manured and made fertile by Brunt land both in Oats and Beer. The way is stony and mossy. There be two Causeys in the Mouth, the one about three quarters of a mile, the other a quarter. Without these two the passage to Aberdeen were impossible in the Winter-Season. The first founders of these Causeys are uncertain. There is an old Husband town near by them called Cookstoun given out in old, for the maintenance of these Causeys, but of old being altogether come to decay, there was a general Contribution by the Gentlemen of the Merns for repairing of them. The town of Aberdeen collected the same, undertook the same, have laid them de novo, and finished the work in the year 1634, a fair Porch being built at the entry thereof.”
For more information on the Causey Mounth, see article by C Michael Hogan on Megalithic Portal site.

Orkneys 1529
Page 320 “On Stromness there is a most dangerous bridge for travellers, named (the Bridge of Naith) where many perish.”