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Glenfinnan

Location

Inverness Map

OS Ref: NM 905 804

Last Visited: 2000

Glenfinnan is famous for two things:

The Viaduct

Location

Inverness Map

OS Ref: NM 909 813

Last Visited: 2000

The viaduct, which featured so strongly in the films, was built by Robert 'Concrete Bob' McAlpine in 1901. It was one of the first structures in the world to use what was, at that time, a newly re-discovered building material, Mass Concrete.

Two bungalows on the Isle of Wight have the honour of being the first such use, and the Sway Tower in the New Forest is the first large structure. The Romans, of course, made extensive use of Mass Concrete, the Pantheon being one of the finest examples.

The viaduct carries West Highland Line which runs between Fort William and Mallaig. In addition to the normal service trains, the line is also home to the Jacobite Steam Train, which pauses long enough at Glenfinnan Station for passengers to visit the splendid little Glenfinnan Railway Station Museum.

Unfortunately, it does not stop long enough to allow them to take in the excellent Princes House Hotel, with its friendly bar and fine restaurant.

External Links and References

The Monument

Location

Inverness Map

OS Ref: NM 906 805

Last Visited: 2000

Glenfinnan Monument

Glenfinnan Monument

The Glenfinnan Monument, designed by James Gillespie Graham, was built in 1815, seventy years after the 1745 uprising, by Alexander MacDonald of Glenaladale in memory of all the clansmen who had fought for the cause.

It is not on the actual spot where the standard was raised, which is believed to be on the high ground to the west of the tower behind the old Church Manse.

The tower is now in the custody of the National Trust for Scotland who have an interesting little Visitor Centre telling the Prince's story (see the NTS site for opening times). There are fine views from the top of the tower.

The Church

Location

Inverness Map

OS Ref: NM 903 808

Last Visited: 2000

Glenfinnan RC Church

Glenfinnan RC Church

Superbly situated overlooking Loch Shiel, St Mary and St Finnan's Catholic Church is worth visiting for the views alone.

If was built in 1870-73 to a design by Edward Welby Pugin at the sole expense of the priest, the Rev. Donald MacDonald, brother of the Laird of Glenaladale, on whose land Glenfinnan lay.

Since then the parishioners have struggled to maintain the building. It was in a very sorry state and closed to the public at the time of my visit.

In 2013, a new fund raising initiative was started which will hopefully see this little church preserved for future generations.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Glenfinnan Church
      Official web site of the church, giving a detailed history and information on efforts to fund the current restoration plans.