(Laggan Bridge)

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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Laggan (Gael. lagan, 'a small hollow'), a hamlet and a large Highland parish of Badenoch, Inverness-shire. - The hamlet, Laggan or Laggan Bridge, lies, 818 feet above sea-level, on the Spey, 8 miles WSW of Newtonmore station and 11 WSW of Kingussie, under which it has a post office.

The parish is bounded N by Boleskine-Abertarff and Moy-Dalarossie, NE and E by Kingussie, SE by Blair Athole and Fortingall in Perthshire, S by Fortingall, and SW and W by Kilmonivaig. Its utmost length, from N by E to W by S, is 227/8 miles; its utmost width, from E to W, is 17¾ miles; and its land area is 234½ square miles or 150,106 acres. The Spey, rising at an altitude of 1475 feet, flows 7½ furlongs south-south-eastward to Loch Spey (23/8 x 1 furl.; 1142 feet), and thence winds 207/8 miles east-by-northward (for the last ½ mile along the Kingussie border), till it passes off into Kingussie at the confluence of the Truim, which itself, rising at 2100 feet, runs 155/8 miles north-north-eastward (for the last 13 along the eastern boundary). The Allt a' Chaoil Reidhe, rising at 3014 feet, runs 61/8 miles north-eastward to triangular Loch Pattack (7½ x 4¾ furl.; 1430 feet); the Pattack thence flows 77/8 miles north-by-eastward and 23/8 miles west-south-westward to beautiful Loch Laggan (7 miles x 2 to 5¼ furl.; 819 feet); and from Loch Laggan the Spean flows 2½ miles west-south-westward (for the last 1¼ mile along the Kilmonivaig border), till it passes off into Kilmonivaig on its way to the Lochy. Again, most of the upper 12½ miles of Loch Ericht (14¾ miles x 9 furl.; 1153 feet) belongs to Laggan, whose drainage thus goes partly north-eastward to the Moray Firth, partly westward to Loch Linnhe and the Atlantic, and partly eastward to the Tay and the German Ocean. Along both the Spey and the Spean the surface declines to 810 feet above sea-level; and near the Pattack's westward bend is a 'col' between the two river systems, 848 feet high. The scenery everywhere is grandly mountainous, the principal summits being *Corryarrick (2922 feet) and Geal Charn (3036), to the N of the Spey; Carn Liath (3298) and *Creag Meaghaidh (3700), between the Spey and Loch Laggan; Am Faireamh (2986), Ben a' Chlachair (3569), and Ben Alder (3757), between Lochs Laggan and Ericht; and *Ben Udlaman (3306), to the E of Loch Ericht-where asterisks mark those heights that culminate on the confines of the parish. The Queen, who stayed at Ardverikie from 21 Aug. to 17 Sept. 1847, describes the scenery as ` splendid: high bold hills, with a good deal of wood; glens, with the Pattack, and a small waterfall; the meadows here and there, with people making hay, and cottages sprinkled sparingly about, reminding us much of Thürinhen. .. We were delighted with the scenery, which is singularly beautiful, wild, and romantic-with so much fine wood about it, which greatly enhances the beauty of a landscape.' Metamorphic rocks predominate in the mountains; an inferior kind of slate occurs in places; and an excellent bed of limestone extends along the valley of the Spey. The soil on the lowest grounds is alluvial, and here and there has a depth of 10 or 12 feet. Only the bottom of the valleys and the lower hill-slopes are under cultivation, by far the greater portion of the parish being either grouse-moor or deer. forest, whilst its waters yield capital fishing, the salmoferox of Loch Laggan running up to 12 lbs. The Dun, 2¼ miles WSW of Laggan Bridge, is the remains of a strong fort 500 feet long and 250 broad, on a precipitons rock rising 500 feet above the adjoining valley; and at the head of Loch Laggan are the ruins of an old church, supposed to have been dedicated to St Kenneth. In Laggan Prince Charles Edward made some of the early movements of his enterprise of 1745, and among some of its mountain fastnesses he sought retreat after his discomfiture at Culloden. Mrs Grant of Laggan, néc Anne M'Vicar (1755-1836), as wife of the parish minister lived here from 1779 till 1803, and here collected the materials for her Letters from the Mountains and other popular works on the Highlands and the Highlanders. (See also Cluny Castle, Glengulbin, Glenshirra, Glentruim, Grampians, Monadhliath Mountains, Strathmashie, and other articles already indicated.) The property is divided among four. Laggan is in the presbytery of Abertarff and synod of Argyll; the living is worth £300. The parish church, at Laggan Bridge, on the Spey's N bank, was rebuilt in 1842, and contains 500 sittings. A Free church stands near the opposite bank of the river; and Gergask, Glentruim, and Loch Laggan public schools, with respective accommodation for 72, 36, and 40 children, had-(1881) an average attendance of 19, 15, and 17, and grants of £37, 14s. 6d., £20, 0s. 6d., and £24, 17s. Valuation (1860) £7942, (1882) £15,210, 7s. 1d. Pop. (1801) 1333, (1841) 1201, (1861) 986, (1871) 950, (1881) 917, of whom 810 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 63, 64, 54, 1873-75.

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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