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Calum's Road


(Rathad Chaluim)

Calum's Road (Gael: Rathad Chaluim) is a single-track road which connects Brochel with Arnish in the N of Raasay in the West Highlands. Extending to 1¾ miles (2.8 km) the road was hand-built by a local man, Calum MacLeod (1911-88), between 1964 and 1974. This remarkable achievement came about following a lengthy and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to compel the local authority to construct a road connecting the remote community in which he lived, with an existing road that extends southwards to Inverarish. Some early reconnaissance had been carried out by army engineers, while blasting and route-works was the work of the Department of Agriculture, but the majority of the work was MacLeod's using just a wheel-barrow, spade and pick.

Highland Council eventually took on the maintenance of the road in 1982 but, in 2013, the BBC reported that the road was in a poor state of repair.

Calum's Road has been the subject of a track by the band Capercaillie (1988), a book by Roger Hutchinson in 2006, a play produced by the National Theatre of Scotland (2011), a further play starring Ian McDiarmid for BBC Radio (2013) and a film. A cairn at the southern end of the road commemorates the achievement.


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