Rest and Be Thankful

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… memorial to the building and re-building
of the military roads around Glen Croe …

Prior to the 17th Century the Scottish Highlands were a pretty remote and inaccessible area. Most people travelled on foot or horseback along paths that followed the lines of the glens and rivers.  In 1724 General Wade was sent north to settle the unrest brewing in the highlands. To enable troops to access the remote areas more readily, he devised a programme of road building – slow and back breaking work carried out by the soldiers themselves. As it happens Bonnie Prince Charlie made good use of the roads to move his men quickly down from the highlands, defeating any opposition in his way. If only he’d carried on south rather than turning back at Derby, history may have been quite different. But turn back he did, only to be defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 which ultimately lead to the end of the Jacobite cause. However, the road building continued under the control of Major William Caulfield who had worked with General Wade. By the time of his death in 1767, an incredible 800 miles of roads over this hard and inhospitable terrain had been built. These incredibly well-made old military roads still criss-cross the highlands providing access, beautiful walks and stunning views.

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~ by marysia on 21 September 2013.

One Response to “Rest and Be Thankful”

  1. Interesting post, and fantastic pictures.

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