NM3698 : Abhainn Sgathaig

taken 10 years ago, 3 km from Harris, Highland, Great Britain

Abhainn Sgathaig
Abhainn Sgathaig
To be more accurate, this used to be Abhainn Sgathaig, which drained Loch Sgathaigh southwards into Abhainn Rangail in Glen Harris. The construction of a dam to raise the level of Loch Sgathaig so that it could be used to divert more water into the Kinloch River has left the former stream bed a series of pools with barely a trickle of water now flowing south. In the background are Askival (left) and Beinn nan Stac.
Water Diversions on the Isle of Rým :: NM3699

In 1845 Lord Salisbury (father of the later Prime Minister) bought the island of Rým from Maclean of Coll with the intention of running it as a sporting estate. He wished to improve the Kinloch River for use as a salmon angling river, and developed an ambitious plan to augment the flow of water in the Kinloch River by diverting the headwaters of the Kilmory River and the Abhainn Rangail.

In 1849 work began on a dam at the south end of Loch Sgathaig to raise its level enough to send the water northwards instead of through the original channel southwards into Abhainn Rangail and into the sea at Harris Bay. This dam, which survives, resulted in an increase in the area of the loch, which is now marked as Long Loch on the maps. A dam was also built at the north end of Long Loch, and a channel cut from this dam towards Kinloch Glen. This dam also failed.

The Kilmory River rose in the north-western part of the island and flowed north through Kilmory Glen to enter the sea at Kilmory. In 1852 work began on a dam high up, below the slopes of Minishal. From this dam a channel would take the water about 600 metres into Kinloch Glen. Work was completed in 1854, but not long after the resulting loch had filled up, the dam failed, resulting in a surge of floodwater down Kilmory Glen. This is the dam now marked on maps as Salisbury's Dam.

After this efforts began to revive the scheme to draw water from Long Loch, but in 1855 Lord Salisbury seems to have lost interest and abandoned the scheme.

After John Bullough bought the island in 1888, an aqueduct was cut from Long Loch to the head of Kinloch Glen, and this still carries water from Long Loch into the Kinloch River.

At some point during the engineering works the Abhainn Monadh Mhiltich seems to have been diverted from falling into the Kilmory River so that it now flows into Long Loch.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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NM3698, 18 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 22 April, 2012   (more nearby)
Thursday, 26 April, 2012
Geographical Context
Uplands  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Water resources  Moorland 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 3627 9804 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:59.8779N 6:20.6605W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 3625 9809
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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