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The River Fleet Information Guide

The river Fleet rises near Lairg and winds for seventeen miles east until it joins the Dornoch Firth at little ferry, in the upper stretches the river traverses about Glen of Strath Fleet then expands into a tidal lagoon of Loch Fleet contracting again at little ferry.

Thomas Telford and William Young appear unlikely bedfellows, one being a celebrated engineer and the other being an infamous factor of the Sutherland estate associated with the Clearances. However, their collaboration to implement the Sutherland Road Act of 1805 has left a monument to their achievements.they reclaimed more than 400 acres of land, the original road ran along the east coast of Sutherland crossing Loch Fleet at the Little Ferry and the Dornoch Firth at the Meikle Ferry.

  • River Fleet Geolocation Latitude 57.95 Longitude -4.08333
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The creation of the parliamentary road removed two major obstacles by bridging the Helmsdale River and the Dornoch Firth at Bonar, but in between was the tricky passage of Loch Fleet. Thomas Telford, the consulting engineer for the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges, originally envisaged building new piers for the ferry as the construction of a traditional bridge was out of the question.William Young however proposed a causeway across the estuary at the Mound. The Commissioners initially argued over the price of the estimate but when the Marquis of Stafford offered to contribute to the cost of the project, the proposal was accepted. In 1814 the work started on the mound anembankment 995 yards long was completed at the cost of £12.500 and passed at the east end by a bridge construction work was completed by June of 1816. origanaly there was a railway here but was removed along with the mound bridge.

The bridge originally had four arches, although this was later increased to six, each contains a sluice gate preventing sea water travelling upstream when the tide comes in but allows river water out as the tide falls. Today this part of Sutherland has a gentler landscape and a larger population than the rest of the county. It is perhaps best known for golf; the Championship course at the Dornoch being rated one of the best in the world, but the area has much to offer the more visitor. Dornoch itself is a fine and characterful old town offering accommodation to suite all pockets Bed and Breakfast, Hostles, Hotles, Pods, self catering, and cabins whilst the beaches along much of the coast provide splendid, bracing walks. The massive monument on Ben Bhraggie dominates this stretch of coastline and is a reminder of why the landscape inland is so much emptier. Lairg is the largest village in this area offering accommodation to suite all pockets Bed and Breakfast, Hostles, Hotles, Pods, self catering, and cabins, the town provides a lifeline services to people living far to the north and west.

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