by Bob Jones (NOSAS)
These notes were compiled in preparation for a NOSAS winter walk which combined a visit to features of the Caledonian Canal at Muirtown and Clachnaharry and to the hillfort at Craig Phadrig.
A slightly different route was followed when the walk was repeated for the NOSAS 20 Year Celebration weekend in March 2018. You can find the notes for this here.
Information has been derived in the main from easily accessible online sources, especially Canmore. The book “The Caledonian Canal” by A D Cameron published by Birlinn Ltd has also proved very useful. It was originally published in 1972, but the 2005 edition includes much updated information.
Rather than attempting to produce an extensive document, the notes have been kept very brief, but links to source material have been included. These, especially the Canmore links, include many photos.
Especially recommended are two BBC audio items (Scot II and the WWI mine barrage) and a history of the Scot II (Leith Shipyards).
Not to be missed is the US Navy book detailing the story of the WWI mine barrage.
Notes on canal features
‘Telford it was by whose presiding mind the whole great work was planned and perfected.’
…… or was it really Jessop?
The Canal was authorised by Parliament in 1803, and was begun under Thomas Telford as principal engineer with William Jessop as consultant. (See Cameron, The Caledonian Canal pp 167-172 for more information)
Construction of the stretch including Muirtown locks and basin and the terminal works at Clachnaharry was delayed by difficulties in building the sea lock and the canal did not open until 1822.