River Fleet

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Fleet, a small river of SE Sutherland, rising at an altitude of 750 feet above sea-level, 2 miles E by S of Lairg church, and thence winding 16¾ east-south-eastward, till it falls below Little Ferry into the Dornoch Firth. Its principal affluent is the Cairnaig, and it intersects or bounds the parishes of Lairg, Rogart, Golspie, and Dornoch. In its upper and middle reaches it traverses a fine glen called from it Strathfleet; lower down it expands into a tidal lagoon, Loch Fleet (3¼ X 15/8 miles), similar to the lagoons of the Forfarshire South Esk and the Findhorn; but in the last mile above its mouth it again contracts to a width of from 1 to 2½ furlongs. Its strath, from a point near the source all down to the head of the lagoon, is traversed by the Sutherland railway, in a gradient of 1 in 84; and its stream, ¾ mile NW of Rogart station, near the High Rock of Craigmore, is crossed by the railway on a stone viaduct with a single arch of 55 feet in span. The lagoon is crossed towards its head by the Mound, an embankment 995 yards long, which, taking over the public road for the eastern seaboard of Sutherland, was completed in 1816 at a cost of £l2,500, and is pierced at its E end with four arches and sluices for the transit of the river and of tidal currents. Above the Mound the lagoon is now mainly a swampy flat, covered with alders; below, it has been curtailed to the extent of 400 acres, by the reclamation of its bed from the tides; and within its mouth it contains a harbour 260 yards broad, with 18 feet of water at ebb tide, perfectly sheltered in all weather, and serving for the importation of coals, lime, bone-dust, and general merchandise, and for the exportation of agricultural and distillery produce. The river is frequented by sea-trout, grilse, and salmon; and the neck of it between the lagoon and the sea contains a fine salmon cast- the only spot in the kingdom where angling for salmon has been successfully practised in salt water.' The depth of water over the bar at the river's mouth is 18 feet at full spring tide, and 4½ feet at ebb tide.—Ord. Sur., shs. 102, 103, 1881-78.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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