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Boisbhein and Ben Alligan from Strath, Gairloch

This postcard shows Boishbhein and Ben Alligin from Strath, Gairloch.

Loch Gairloch is situated in Wester Ross. Gairloch comes from the Gaelic 'Gear Loch' meaning short loch. Strath is a small crofting township. On the other side of the loch is the beautiful, fine sand of Gairloch beach. The building to the left is the Free Church.

Boishbhein or Baosbheinn, on the left, and Ben, or Beinn, Alligin, on the right, belong to the Torridon Mountain range, a remote area of spectacular scenery which lies between Loch Maree and Loch Torridon. The mountains are formed of Torridonian sandstone and some contain white quartzite which can give the impression of snow. Several of the peaks rise to over 3300 feet (1000 metres).

Baosbheinn, at 2870 feet high (875 metres), is a Corbett - a mountain between 2,500 feet and 2,999 feet. The meaning is usually taken to be the wizard's peak.

Beinn Alligin is a Munro - a mountain over 3,000 feet. Its name is usually translated as the jewel and it has two peaks. Sgurr Mhor, the big peak, is 3231 (985 metres) feet and Tom na Grugaich, the hill of the damsel, is 3018 feet (920 metres).

It is only in recent times that the separate settlements along the shore of the loch - Lonemore, Smithstown, Mial, Strath, Auchtercairn and Charlestown - have been known collectively as Gairloch. Until 1843, when the road was built, almost all access to this remote area was by sea. Only now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is the A832 being upgraded from a single track road with passing places to a two lane carriageway.

Crofting and fishing, particularly cod fishing, used to be the mainstay of the scattered community. Oysters and other shellfish were also harvested for the London market. Crabs, lobsters and prawns are still sent from Gairloch to markets in the south and in Europe.

Gairloch though is best known as a holiday resort. Queen Victoria visited Gairloch during her stay at the nearby Loch Maree Hotel in 1877 and since then tourists have been coming to enjoy the fine beaches and wonderful scenery. Steam ships visited regularly during the nineteenth century and the Gairloch Hotel catered for the visitors every need. A golf course was opened in 1898.

Today there are hotels and inns, self catering cottages and caravan parks. The area particularly attracts hill walkers and wildlife watchers. Despite the summer invasion there is still a feeling of remoteness and of being on the edge of an unspoilt wilderness.

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Boisbhein and Ben Alligan from Strath, Gairloch

ROSS: Gairloch

1930s; 1940s

postcards; lochs; Baosbheinn; Beinn Alligin; Torridon; churches; settlements; Charlestown; Lonemore; Smithstown; Mial; Auchtercairn;<br /> crofting; fishing; shellfish; resorts; Queen Victoria; tourists; beaches; hotels; golf

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows Boishbhein and Ben Alligin from Strath, Gairloch.<br /> <br /> Loch Gairloch is situated in Wester Ross. Gairloch comes from the Gaelic 'Gear Loch' meaning short loch. Strath is a small crofting township. On the other side of the loch is the beautiful, fine sand of Gairloch beach. The building to the left is the Free Church.<br /> <br /> Boishbhein or Baosbheinn, on the left, and Ben, or Beinn, Alligin, on the right, belong to the Torridon Mountain range, a remote area of spectacular scenery which lies between Loch Maree and Loch Torridon. The mountains are formed of Torridonian sandstone and some contain white quartzite which can give the impression of snow. Several of the peaks rise to over 3300 feet (1000 metres).<br /> <br /> Baosbheinn, at 2870 feet high (875 metres), is a Corbett - a mountain between 2,500 feet and 2,999 feet. The meaning is usually taken to be the wizard's peak.<br /> <br /> Beinn Alligin is a Munro - a mountain over 3,000 feet. Its name is usually translated as the jewel and it has two peaks. Sgurr Mhor, the big peak, is 3231 (985 metres) feet and Tom na Grugaich, the hill of the damsel, is 3018 feet (920 metres).<br /> <br /> It is only in recent times that the separate settlements along the shore of the loch - Lonemore, Smithstown, Mial, Strath, Auchtercairn and Charlestown - have been known collectively as Gairloch. Until 1843, when the road was built, almost all access to this remote area was by sea. Only now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is the A832 being upgraded from a single track road with passing places to a two lane carriageway.<br /> <br /> Crofting and fishing, particularly cod fishing, used to be the mainstay of the scattered community. Oysters and other shellfish were also harvested for the London market. Crabs, lobsters and prawns are still sent from Gairloch to markets in the south and in Europe.<br /> <br /> Gairloch though is best known as a holiday resort. Queen Victoria visited Gairloch during her stay at the nearby Loch Maree Hotel in 1877 and since then tourists have been coming to enjoy the fine beaches and wonderful scenery. Steam ships visited regularly during the nineteenth century and the Gairloch Hotel catered for the visitors every need. A golf course was opened in 1898. <br /> <br /> Today there are hotels and inns, self catering cottages and caravan parks. The area particularly attracts hill walkers and wildlife watchers. Despite the summer invasion there is still a feeling of remoteness and of being on the edge of an unspoilt wilderness.