Loch Monar

Situated on the border between Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, and Skye and Lochalsh districts of Highland Council Area, Loch Monar lies to the south of the East and West Monar Forests, 13 miles (21 km) east of Strathcarron. The loch has a length of 8 miles (13 km) and has been used as a reservoir since 1963, forming part of the Affric-Beauly Hydro-Electric Power Scheme. Its level was artificially raised by a pair of concrete dams at its eastern end; the mass gravity Loichel dam (207m / 680 feet in width and 20m / 66 feet high, built in 1961 and with a central spillway) and the double-arch Monar dam (161m / 528 feet in width and 39m / 128 feet high, built in 1963). The arch-dam is a type unique in Britain and was B-listed in 2011. Its thickness varies from 5.8m (19 feet) at the base to 3.8m (12½ feet) at its crest, where ten tilting floodgates have been installed. This latter dam plays an important role in regulating the flow of water downstream. The Garbh-uisge emerges beneath the dam but, within a mile (1.8 km), becomes the River Farrar. The original loch was 411 ha (1015 acres) in area but creation of the reservoir more than doubled its size to 1000 ha (2471 acres). The ruins of Strathmore Lodge together with several other properties lie beneath the water.

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