The most obvious impacts were the dams and flooding of glens to create reservoirs; the power stations and the pylons. But of equal, if not more, interest to me are the more minor things like the rivers, roads and even railways that were diverted to make way for the rising waters. And the houses which were demolished, from shepherds' cottages to shooting lodges.
|Picture reproduced by kind permission of Helen Murchison of Achintraid|
Despite the conversion, the site of the lodge and its associated estate buildings appear to have remained "high and dry" with piles of rubble representing their remains being still clearly visible on aerial photography:-
Below is Cabuie Lodge the OS 6 inch map of 1902:-
|OS 6 inch Ross & Cromarty Sheet LX, Publication date: 1905; Date revised: 1902|
|Ross-shire & Cromartyshire (Mainland), Sheet LX Survey date: 1875; Publication date: 1881|
I was disappointed the Geograph website didn't have an up close ground level photo of the remains of Cabuie but it does have a good picture of the site at the head of the loch from up on the hillside to the south:-
|Photo credit Andrew Spenceley|
|Picture credit John Allan|
|Picture credit jwvdh|
|Ross & Cromarty Sheet LXXIII, Publication date: 1905; Date revised: 1902|
|Laggan Dam - picture credit John Stewart|
|Fannich Dam - picture credit Hugh Venables|
The RCAHMS entry for Grudie Power Station includes scans of the original 1940s architect drawings showing the thoughtful touches that went into these buildings including the Pictish bear motif above a window:-
But as well as the drop, it's still useful to have a large reservoir of water to make the descent and keep the turbine turning. That's what dams are really about - quantity rather than quality, as it were, in hydro-electric terms. In fact Loch Fannich is unusual in that its water level seldom reaches the dam (and hence why Cabuie Lodge perhaps didn't need to be demolished and its footprint remains visible.) But Fannich exemplifies another thing I hadn't properly realised about Scottish hydro reservoirs which is that they didn't just rely on the natural water catchment area of dammed lochs. In many cases, the Hydro Board artificially enlarged these by diverting the flow of rivers from adjacent catchments to help keep the reservoirs topped up.
Thus, in the case of Loch Fannich, it's natural catchment area is shown outlined in red on the map below. But the areas outlined in orange have been added by trapping streams which would otherwise have flowed off east and west and leading them through pipes (blue lines) back into Loch Fannich.
Below is a picture of the pipe which carries the water flowing off the west-most off the two orange areas east back to Loch Fannich instead of west to Loch Maree where it would naturally flow to:-
|Picture credit John Allan|
|Picture credit Hugh Venables|
I leave you with a fabulous picture looking west up Loch Fannich from Moray Mountaineering Club's website. Fannich Lodge is clearly visible on the opposite shore of the loch and the site of Cabuie Lodge is at the far top right end of the loch.