Monday, September 6, 2010

The parallel roads of Glen Roy

OS Map reference NN3088

While looking at OS Landranger Map of Ben Nevis, Fort William and Glen Coe I came across several places marked parallel roads, and shown as tracks on the map. I assumed that these were man made, and probably of military origin since General Wade's Military Road passes not too far from this area. But like many before me I was wrong. Gaelic legends say they were made by either fairies or by the Celtic giant Fingal. Early scientific theories suggested they were lake or coastal shorelines, but there was no evidence of a closed lake. It was not until the mid-1800's that it was shown that the lake was created during the last ice age, and the shorelines were created in three distinct periods of advance or retreat of the ice which was damming the lake.

Parallel roads on Beinn Iaruinn.
Photograph © Copyright Richard Webb
and licensed for reuse under this
Creative Commons Licence

Further reading: