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Newtonmore Coffin Road
Newtonmore Coffin Road

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Old Roads from Afflochie

Start location: Afflochie (NO 475 641)
End location: unclassified roadend, bridge north of Waterhead (NO 465 716)
Geographical area: Angus and Tayside
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 8.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

From Afflochie take the track up the east side of Cruick Water for 2km. Proceed NNW on a track up the south ridge of Hill of Garbet round to the south-west shoulder of Hill of Mondurran and then descend NE to Waterhead on the Water of Saughs.

Alternatively another old road from Afflochie runs roughly northeast for 7.5km to Tillyarblet.

OS Landranger 44 (Ballater & Glen Clova)

Heritage Information

The right of way that leads to Afflochie from Waterhead round the Hill of Mondurran and the Hill of Garbet must be quite an old hill pass. It was probably only ever used by pedestrians and the odd packhorse. Although it is unlikely to have been as important as some of the Mounth Passes, it is still a very direct route towards Tannadice and Forfar. However, it may be significant to note that the route traverses Month Shank, a name which appears on the current 1:25,000 OS Explorer map in grid square NO4666. This may reflect the use of the route as an alternative way south to Strathmore after traversing the Whisky Road from Tarfside through the Clash Of Wirren - this latter route itself being a continuation of the Fungle Road and the Firmounth.

Although it reaches 530 metres, it must have appealed to those who wished to avoid alternative roads with tolls. In this respect it may possibly have been used by thrifty drovers with their cattle but this is entirely speculation. The path passes a feature called 'The Iron Gate' on the south east slope of Mount Sned, which is probably something to do with the parish boundary being located here. The parish boundary is almost visible from the many piles of stones scattered along it.

More recently, this route has been promoted for its recreational value. It has appeared continuously in the Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society's book Scottish Hill Tracks since the first edition in 1947. A similar route which came up from Glen Ogil to reach the pass between the Hill of Mondurran and Mount Sned is known to be described in the 1924 and 1932 editions of WASmith's Hill Paths In Scotland.

The road to Tillyarblet is a lot shorter and lower and so was probably used more often by people travelling to work on the farms or selling goods. This road appears in many 19th century maps, such as John Thomson's of 1820, as well built roads from Afflochie to Trusta and from Blairno to Ackfersie, which now seems to be a ruin. The gap in between these roads must always have been a footpath.

 

 



 

 

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Copyright: Alan Morrison Copyright: Richard Webb

 

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