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TITLE
Loch Garve from above station, Garve
EXTERNAL ID
QZP40_CARD_0576
PLACENAME
Garve
DISTRICT
Muir of Ord
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Contin
PERIOD
1930s
CREATOR
J Valentine & Co.
SOURCE
Highland Libraries
ASSET ID
32498
KEYWORDS
postcards
Fionn
Killen
Killin
pegmatites
garnets
kelpies
waterhorses
Skye Railway
canals
Stromeferry
fishing boats
railways
Loch Garve from above station, Garve

This postcard shows Loch Garve from above the station

Loch Garve is situated in Ross and Cromarty. Its Gaelic name is Loch Maol-Fhinn, the loch of the followers of St Fionn. The Roy Map of 1747 names it Loch Killen and in the New Statistical Account (1834-45) it is referred to as Loch Killin. Killin, in Gaelic Cill-Fhinn, Fionn's chapel, is at the west end of the loch. Garve is from the Gaelic "gairbh" meaning rough place. Pegmatite rocks (coarse grained, igneous rock from ancient slow cooling lava) containing garnets have been found around Loch Garve.

There is a story of a kelpie, or waterhorse, living in Loch Garve. A kelpie may appear as a man or a horse. The kelpie in Loch Garve had, as kelpies do, carried off a girl to be his wife and although he provided her with a fine house under the water and plenty fresh food she was unhappy because she was so cold. The kelpie was kind and he loved his wife. In the guise of a horse he went to the village of Garve in search of a mason. He allowed the mason to catch and mount him but then carried him back to the loch. He persuaded the mason to build a fireplace and a chimney for the house under the water before returning him unharmed to the village. The kelpie's wife then had warmth and cooked food and was happy. As a reward the mason just had to stand beside the loch and say "fish" and the next day he would find a basket of fresh fish left for him. It is said that there is a spot on the loch which never freezes over because of the heat rising from the kelpie's chimney.

Garve is one of the stops on the Skye Railway which opened in 1870. The station was designed by Murdoch Paterson and has a fine lattice-sided foot bridge across the line. A feature of the station is that there is a particularly wide gap between the up and down lines. The original plan for the Skye Railway was not just to carry passengers, goods and fish between east and west but to transport fishing boats as well. This was to avoid the dangers of the journey round the north of Scotland. There was the safer alternative of the route through the Caledonian Canal but this was expensive. The idea was that vessels would be craned out of the water at the Dingwall Canal on to special wagons and transported across the country to be lowered in to the sea at Strome Ferry. The extra wide gap at Garve was to allow the boat trains to pass other passenger and goods trains safely. The cranes were ordered and it was hoped that the railway would be ready for the early summer when the fishing fleet needed to be moved. However when it became clear that the railway would not open until July the cranes were postponed until the following year. That was the last that was heard of the "Fishers' Boats" scheme, the only legacy being the gap at Garve Station.

Garve had the possibility of becoming a major junction. Twice in the late nineteenth century plans were proposed to build a railway line from Garve to Ullapool. In 1890 the route was given Royal Assent but disagreements between the rival railway companies meant that it never came to fruition.

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Loch Garve from above station, Garve

ROSS: Contin

1930s

postcards; Fionn; Killen; Killin; pegmatites; garnets; kelpies; waterhorses; Skye Railway; canals; Stromeferry; fishing boats; railways

Highland Libraries

Highland Libraries' Postcard Collection

This postcard shows Loch Garve from above the station<br /> <br /> Loch Garve is situated in Ross and Cromarty. Its Gaelic name is Loch Maol-Fhinn, the loch of the followers of St Fionn. The Roy Map of 1747 names it Loch Killen and in the New Statistical Account (1834-45) it is referred to as Loch Killin. Killin, in Gaelic Cill-Fhinn, Fionn's chapel, is at the west end of the loch. Garve is from the Gaelic "gairbh" meaning rough place. Pegmatite rocks (coarse grained, igneous rock from ancient slow cooling lava) containing garnets have been found around Loch Garve.<br /> <br /> There is a story of a kelpie, or waterhorse, living in Loch Garve. A kelpie may appear as a man or a horse. The kelpie in Loch Garve had, as kelpies do, carried off a girl to be his wife and although he provided her with a fine house under the water and plenty fresh food she was unhappy because she was so cold. The kelpie was kind and he loved his wife. In the guise of a horse he went to the village of Garve in search of a mason. He allowed the mason to catch and mount him but then carried him back to the loch. He persuaded the mason to build a fireplace and a chimney for the house under the water before returning him unharmed to the village. The kelpie's wife then had warmth and cooked food and was happy. As a reward the mason just had to stand beside the loch and say "fish" and the next day he would find a basket of fresh fish left for him. It is said that there is a spot on the loch which never freezes over because of the heat rising from the kelpie's chimney.<br /> <br /> Garve is one of the stops on the Skye Railway which opened in 1870. The station was designed by Murdoch Paterson and has a fine lattice-sided foot bridge across the line. A feature of the station is that there is a particularly wide gap between the up and down lines. The original plan for the Skye Railway was not just to carry passengers, goods and fish between east and west but to transport fishing boats as well. This was to avoid the dangers of the journey round the north of Scotland. There was the safer alternative of the route through the Caledonian Canal but this was expensive. The idea was that vessels would be craned out of the water at the Dingwall Canal on to special wagons and transported across the country to be lowered in to the sea at Strome Ferry. The extra wide gap at Garve was to allow the boat trains to pass other passenger and goods trains safely. The cranes were ordered and it was hoped that the railway would be ready for the early summer when the fishing fleet needed to be moved. However when it became clear that the railway would not open until July the cranes were postponed until the following year. That was the last that was heard of the "Fishers' Boats" scheme, the only legacy being the gap at Garve Station. <br /> <br /> Garve had the possibility of becoming a major junction. Twice in the late nineteenth century plans were proposed to build a railway line from Garve to Ullapool. In 1890 the route was given Royal Assent but disagreements between the rival railway companies meant that it never came to fruition.