River Avon

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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Aven or Avon, a lake and a river of S Banffshire. The lake lies at the south-western extremity of the county, 22 miles NW of Castleton of Braemar; occupies a stupendous hollow amid the central masses of the Cairngorm Mountains; lies at an elevation of 2250 feet above sea-level; is immediately overhung by the steep and almost mural mosses of Cairngorm (4084 feet), Ben Macdhui (4296), and Ben Mheadoin (3883); measures 15/8 mile in length from SW to NE, and from 1 to 1½ furlong in breadth; exhibits scenery of solemn and most impressive grandeur; and abounds in small black trout very different from those of the stream which flows from it. Its water is so clear ` that yon can see the fishes hanging in every pool; ' at its head is the Shelter Stone, a sort of cave large enough to accommodate 12 or 15 men, and formed by an immense fallen block of granite resting on two other blocks in situ. The river issues from the NE end of the lake; runs first about 9 miles east-north-eastward, next about 13 miles north-north-westward, next about 5¾ miles northward; and falls into the Spey at Ballindalloch. It flows mainly within Kirkmichael parish, but its last 2½ miles lie within or on the boundary of Inveravon parish; it passes the village of Tomintoul, and has its course partly along a profound mountain glen, partly along a deep ravine, partly along a narrow vale. It rose, in the great floods of 1829, to a height of 23 feet above its usual level in the ravine of Poll-du-ess, and to a height of 6 feet more than in the flood of 1768 at its month. It receives the Water of Ailnack, near Tomintoul, Conglass Water, the Burn of Lochy, and, near Drumin Castle, Livet Water. It abounds in trout, and, from June till November, is frequented by salmon. ` The Aven, ' says Sir Thomas Dick Lander, ` flows with so great pellucidity through its deep and dark glen, that many accidents have occurred to strangers by its appearing fordable in places which proved to be of fatal depth. This quality is marked by an old doggerel proverb-

'The Water of Aven runs so clear,
It would beguile a man of a hundred year.",

The Queen and Prince Consort visited Loch Aven, 28 Sept. 1861.—Ord. Sur., shs. 74,75,85,1876-77.

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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