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History of Loch Kinnord
Chapter I. Introductory


Less than thirty years ago the upward traveller by the old Deeside coach, on crossing the burn of Dinnet, was apt to fancy himself as entering some vast wilderness of brown heath, where no human habitation had ever stood; and for the next three miles of his journey this impression was likely to be rather strengthened than dissipated by the aspect of the country on either hand. Generally, therefore, it was with a feeling of relief that he found himself wheeled down the somewhat dangerous descent of-the narrow old county road, where it swept in alarming promixity to dark Pol Phanterich, from the rocky buttress of Culblean to the door of the roadside hostelry of Cambus o' May. But though concealed from his view, he had all the while been skirting a locality as lovely and picturesque as the moor be bad crossed was barren and dreary.

At that time very few strangers were aware of the existence of Loch Kinnord, and fewer still knew anything of tde charms of its scenery; while the interesting remains of antiquity that abound in the vicinity were but little explored. "No one bad seen them who could understand their significance or read their story.

Now all this is changed. The new turnpike, opened in 1857, by winding round the northern slope of the Mickle Ord, brought the lake and its sylvan environs within view of the passing tourist; but he was content to look at it as at a beautiful scene in a shifting diorama. [So little was the locality even then known, that in the edition of the Deeside Guide published in 1866, Loch Kinnord and Loch Davan are placed three miles apart, and the line of the Tarland and Ballater road is made to pass between them, whereas they are not 100 yards apart, and the road passes to the north of Loch Davan.] There was no convenient place near where he could break his journey and resume it again after a personal examination of the locality. At length, however, the opening of the railway between Aboyne and Ballater (16th Oct., 1866) gave the desired opportunity. The stations at Dinnet and Cambus o' May afford convenient points from which to reach the lake, whose beautiful shores are now annually visited by crowds of holiday excursionists. Rich in treasures of science and relics of long forgotten ages, it has now become a centre of attraction for naturalists and antiquaries. Some of these relics are of so hoar an antiquity that they throw around the scene something of a hallowed character, suggesting to the intelligent visitor "thoughts of other years," and raising in the imagination pictures of a state of society so remote, that the very outlines of it are but faintly traceable, so far back do they lie in the long vista down which we look into pre-historic times.

It is with the view of guiding in some measure these thoughts, and throwing, if possible, some light on these pictures that the following brief history of Kinnord is offered to those whose pleasure or curiosity may lead them to visit this interesting district.


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