Loch Leven  Scotland


In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Loch Leven like this:

Leven, a small stream and a sea-loch on the mutual border of Argyll and Inverness shires. Issuing as the Black Water from little Lochan a' Chlaidheimh (1145 feet) at the meeting-point of the counties of Argyll, Inverness, and Perth, the stream flows 16¾ miles westward, through a chain of lochs-Loch a' Bhaillidh, Lochan na Salach Uidhre, and Loch Inbhir (992 feet) -and falls into the head of Loch Leven. ...

The scenery along the basin is wild and romantic, particularly at the wild glen of the falls of Kinlochmore. There is excellent trout-fishing, which is, however, preserved. The loch extends 113/8 miles westward from the mouth of the river to Loch Linnhe at its junction with Loch Eil, and varies in breadth from 2/3 furlong to 2½ miles, being very narrow in its upper half, but widening out at Invercoe, where Glencoe opens on it from E by S, and the river Coe enters it. The scenery, more particularly along the western part, is very wild. 'It is with justice,' says Dr Macculloch, 'that Glencoe is celebrated as one of the wildest and most romantic specimens of Scottish scenery; but those who have written about Glencoe forget to write about Loch Leven, and those who occupy a day in wandering from the inns at Ballachulish through its strange and rocky valley, forget to open their eyes upon those beautiful landscapes which surround them on all sides, and which render Loch Leven a spot that Scotland does not often exceed, either in its interior lakes or its maritime inlets. From its mouth to its further extremity, this loch is one continued succession of landscapes on both sides, the northern shore being accessible by the ancient road which crosses the Devil's Staircase, but the southern one turning away from the water near the quarries [of Ballachulish]. The chief beauties, however, lie at the lower half, the interest of the scenes diminishing after passing the contraction which takes place near the entrance of Glencoe, and the furthest extremity being rather wild than beautiful.' The Devil's Staircase is the name given to the portion of the old road from Tyndrum to Fort William, which is at the E end of the loch.—Ord. Sur., shs. 54, 53, 1873-77.

Loch Leven through time

Loch Leven is now part of Highland district. Click here for graphs and data of how Highland has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Loch Leven itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Loch Leven, in Highland and Scotland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 23rd October 2021

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