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Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Orchy?

Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Orchy?


Postby polmanb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:23 am

Hi there. First time poster, so be gentle! Trying to get back into walking after a long break. I remember my dad taking me to an underground 'bothy' near a copse of trees off to the right somewhere after Bridge of Orchy, near Ba Bridge I think. The roof was a mound of grass, but it had a stone floor, stone benches down either side and a fireplace I think. Seem to remember there was no door, so a haven for midges! Does anyone have an exact lock on to where it's located? Would love to take my own wee ones some day. Cheers
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby rgf101 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:30 am

Walked past there many a time, but never seen or read anything that might fit.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby polmanb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:41 pm

Cheers. I'm sure I didn't dream it :? You could only see it when you got right up close. Just looked like a grassy mound from a distance.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:14 am

If we can't find it I think we should build it ! :D Was it within sight of the loch?
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Sack the Juggler » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:57 am

It'd be interesting to find this bothy if it has fallen into disrepair, or just been forgotten about, can you remember any more about its location or what could be seen around it , or if it was next to a path or was it out in plain site or in the woods?
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Sack the Juggler » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:58 am

Also, how long ago are we talking?
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby rgf101 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:59 am

somewhere after Bridge of Orchy, near Ba Bridge I think

When you say 'I think' - are you sure you were on that road, but not sure it was close to the bridge, or is it possible you were, say, heading down Glen Kinglass? I had a browse of the map on Canmore.org.uk, but there's nothing that matches I can see.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Border Reiver » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:06 am

From what I've read in books, it sounds like this might have been the location of an illicit still in days gone by. There were hundreds of them built into the hillsides and completely invisible to the excisemen who were looking for them.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Caberfeidh » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:20 pm

Border Reiver wrote:From what I've read in books, it sounds like this might have been the location of an illicit still in days gone by. There were hundreds of them built into the hillsides and completely invisible to the excisemen who were looking for them.


Now you have really piqued my interest; I'm going to have to go searching...
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Sack the Juggler » Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:28 pm

Border Reiver wrote:From what I've read in books, it sounds like this might have been the location of an illicit still in days gone by. There were hundreds of them built into the hillsides and completely invisible to the excisemen who were looking for them.
this sounds like a plausible explanation of what polmanb stayed in and explains why it was covered in grass / heather.

here's an article about one and a picture


https://www.thenational.scot/news/15098415.historians-find-ruin-of-illicit-whisky-bothy-among-hills-of-moray/

Image
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Ben Nachie » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:17 pm

I once stumbled across the remains of a hideout on the upper slopes of Beinn Mhic Chasgaig. It was large enough for one or two persons to sit in and had small windows with views up and down Glen Etive and over to Glen Coe. It was roofless and I suspect it was an old lookout post from pre-1745.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Border Reiver » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:03 am

Caberfeidh wrote:
Border Reiver wrote:From what I've read in books, it sounds like this might have been the location of an illicit still in days gone by. There were hundreds of them built into the hillsides and completely invisible to the excisemen who were looking for them.


Now you have really piqued my interest; I'm going to have to go searching...

I also read of one piece of highland ingenuity. A crofter living in upper Monar area had a number of these stills that he had been using in rotation for many years. He was getting old and not up to spending days on end in wee cramped bothans, so when he heard that the government were offering rewards to anyone who found and reported any illicit stills, he "accidentally found" and reported one of his own stills and claimed the reward.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby orion » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:15 am

It was intact in the late 1970s when I stayed in it.It was indeed burrowed into a mound of earth and difficult to find.A small stove was vented through the roof and the small chimney was a giveaway when you got close.It was built by a teacher from Lanark I think.No door but there was a heavy tarpaulin that could be pulled tight.Went back for a return visit about 10 years ago and you could just about make out where it had been.Not much left of it at all.If you are at Ba Bridge then look eastwards and there is a prominent little hillock with a stand of Scots pines on top.That is where it was.I may have a pic of the site from my last visit somewhere.
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:59 am

orion wrote:It was intact in the late 1970s when I stayed in it. It was indeed burrowed into a mound of earth and difficult to find.A small stove was vented through the roof and the small chimney was a giveaway when you got close.It was built by a teacher from Lanark I think.No door but there was a heavy tarpaulin that could be pulled tight.Went back for a return visit about 10 years ago and you could just about make out where it had been.Not much left of it at all.If you are at Ba Bridge then look eastwards and there is a prominent little hillock with a stand of Scots pines on top.That is where it was.I may have a pic of the site from my last visit somewhere.


Oh please look out your old photos! I was there yesterday and found remains of a ruined sheiling in the side of a hillock, but they looked like they had been ruined about three hundred years ago, and there are so many hillocks, all of them might carry such ruins. There were no trees on the hillock I explored. Was it a long walk from the road? Do any of these pictures ring a bell?

IMG_1519#p#r.jpg
Any hillocks look familiar?


IMG_1521#r.jpg
Recognise these trees?


IMG_1524#p#r.jpg
Ruins...


IMG_1525#p#r.jpg
More ruins...


IMG_1526#p#r.jpg
The building seemed to have had a central aisle


IMG_1531#p#r.jpg
big rock on the other side of the hillock, maybe used as a landmark to guide travellers


IMG_1532#p#r.jpg
Any landmarks you remember?


IMG_1546#p#r.jpg
Rannoch Moor, starring as Shakespeare's "Blasted Heath"


IMG_1548#p#r.jpg
Loch na Ba, any landmarks you remember?
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Re: Underground bothy near Ba Bridge, Rannoch / Bridge of Or

Postby Sack the Juggler » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:45 pm

orion wrote:It was intact in the late 1970s when I stayed in it.It was indeed burrowed into a mound of earth and difficult to find.A small stove was vented through the roof and the small chimney was a giveaway when you got close.It was built by a teacher from Lanark I think.No door but there was a heavy tarpaulin that could be pulled tight.Went back for a return visit about 10 years ago and you could just about make out where it had been.Not much left of it at all.If you are at Ba Bridge then look eastwards and there is a prominent little hillock with a stand of Scots pines on top.That is where it was.I may have a pic of the site from my last visit somewhere.
some great feedback there, both on the bothy position and its origins
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