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Granish & Carrbridge.

Another place that features large in the story is Granish. This is a collection of farms lying immediately to the North of Aviemore. As well as the original Granish Farm there is Sluggan-Granish, Easter-Granish and Knock-Granish. As the population grew and more land was "improved" then brought into cultivation, many farms out-grew themselves and were split by the landlords into two or more smaller units. This made the land as productive as possible given the agricultural methods of the time.

The aim was for each farm to be farmed by the farmer and this family with a minimum of hired-in labour

Needless to say in modern times and with mechanisation the opposite is now true. Most of the farms that were split in the 18th and 19th Century have been re-merged together with the surplus houses and farm buildings being converted to residential or holiday lets. The latter being much the more profitable, with the rest of the tourist industry it underpins the local economy.

If anyone other than me is remotely interested in this stuff then there is a section about it here.

Sadly the site of Granish is now mostly Aviemore Dump !!

The part of Granish that is mainly relevant to our Camerons was the original Granish Farm that was taken over by James Cameron & Elspet Cumming back at the end of the 18th Century.  Sadly there is little of this to see as it was mostly demolished to make way for the new GTX version of the A9 in the 1980's. In addition to that lost to the road, most of the rest is now covered by Aviemore municipal rubbish dump!  There is one remaining building still called Granish, it is SAID to be the one remaining farm building re-built as a holiday cottage. Quite why anyone would want to spend their holiday next to the rubbish dump I really don't know. Perhaps it is very cheap !! ( It would need to be )

Granish Moor.

Carrbridge.

Two to three miles downstream of Aviemore the main road and the main rail line swing North away from the Spey and start on the climb up to get out of the Spey Valley and over a series of hills and valleys to Inverness. The first stop along the way is the village of Carrbridge.

Carrbridge is basically on the North side of the same hill whose south side has Chapelton, Docharn and the other farms.  The River Dulnain flows through Carrbridge and is at this stage roughly parallel to but much smaller than the Spey. There is a relatively minor climb out of the Spey valley into that of the Dulnain at this point. Along the rest of the Dulnain the Monadhliath Hills form an effective barrier between the two valleys. A few tracks and very minor roads do cross, but this is there only place where the main road and railway can cross without having to head East and go all of the way around.  Until the 1880's the railway did have to go around via Foress, which is why the now disused line was built in the first place. It was only when steam engines got powerful enough to cope with the gradients that it was worth anyones while building the more direct route.  Once again, if you are sitting watching the Highlands roll past as your modern train effortlessly glides up the hill,  spare a thought for the poor buggers who had to feed the fires of the old steam engines, to get them over these high lands.  

The old bridge at Carrbridge.

Carrbridge is an attractive little place though somewhat lacking in bright lights and excitement!   It will not surprise you to hear that its best known and most striking feature, is indeed a bridge ! But not the one that you may have just crossed.

 

Long before the A9 was even thought of, the English military were charged with preventing rebellion in Scotland by building a series of forts at strategic places across the Highlands and linking them with new roads. These roads have become known as General Wade's Military Roads, even though most of the network was built before General Wade ever set foot in Scotland. Typical senior officer, does none of the graft but claims the credit afterwards!

 

 This all happened around 1704-1720.  So when Bonny Prince Charlie came along and rallied the clans to his standard in 1745, the Government in London must have considered what an effective strategy this had been for preventing rebellion. As Charlies horde of hairy ar**d Highlanders poured South along those nice new roads many a glass must have been raised to General Wade. In fact more than a glass was raised to him and he slunk off in disgrace, as he attempted to point out that forts with virtually no soldiers in them were not ever going to prevent anything much.

There is not a whole lot left of the old bridge for the Military Road, just a single arch still stands but it makes a very striking feature in the middle of the village. Leaving the village towards Inverness the road forks, one way climbs up through Bogroy towards Schloct Summit and Inverness.  to the Right passes Duthil Church and goes via Dulnan Bridge to Grantown on Spey.

Duthil is a place frequently referred to and features in a large proportion of records. There is no town or village of Duthil, it is the name of the Parish centred around Carrbridge but including Boat of Garten and along the Spey Valley almost up to Aviemore and including Granish.  The actual parish church is ( or was ) about a mile out of Carrbridge in the Dulnan Bridge direction.  No longer used as a church it is now the Clan Grant heritage centre. The Grant family Mausoleum and crypt adjoins the church and contains the remains of the chiefs of Clan Grant and their families going back a few hundred years.  This is still in use, so when many parishes merged and the church building became superfluous , the family who had originally given the land for the church to be built on were able to keep the mausoleum in good repair and find an alternative use for the church building

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