Loch Katrine

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Loch Katrine
Loch Katrine.jpg
Above Stronachlachar, looking eastward along the length of the loch
Location Stirling, Scotland
Coordinates 56°15′16″N 4°30′56″W / 56.25444°N 4.51556°W / 56.25444; -4.51556Coordinates: 56°15′16″N 4°30′56″W / 56.25444°N 4.51556°W / 56.25444; -4.51556
Type freshwater loch, reservoir
Basin countries United Kingdom
Max. length 13 km
Max. width 1 km

Loch Katrine (About this sound listen ; Scottish Gaelic: Loch Ceiteirein or Loch Ceathairne, pronounced [lˠ̪ɔx kʲʰeʰtʲəɾʲɛɲ]) is a freshwater loch in the district of Stirling, Scotland. It is roughly 8 miles long by 2/3 of a mile wide and runs the length of Strath Gartney (Gaelic: Srath Ghartain). It is a popular destination for tourists and day visitors from Glasgow and other nearby towns. The loch derives its name from the term cateran from the Gaelic ceathairne, a collective word meaning cattle thief[1] or possibly peasantry. Historically this referred to a band of fighting men of a clan; hence the term applied to marauders or cattle-lifters, the most notorious of whom was Rob Roy MacGregor who was born at Glengyle House at the northern end of the Loch.

It is the fictional setting of Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake and of the subsequent opera by Giachino Rossini, La donna del lago.

History[edit]

Plaque commemorating the Glen Finglas expansion of Loch Katrine waterworks, completed in 1958.

Loch Katrine is owned by Scottish Water and is the primary water reservoir for much of the city of Glasgow and its surrounding areas. The water level has been artificially raised by around 6 feet - the Loch can be drawn down by a maximum of 7 ft in order to provide gravitational flow to the Milngavie water treatment works via two 26 mile long aqueducts and 13 miles of tunnel. Milngavie itself is situated at almost 400 ft above sea level - sufficient to provide adequate water pressure to the majority of Glasgow without the need for pumping. The system can deliver up to 50,000,000 gallons a day. Construction was started in 1855 and the works was opened by Queen Victoria in 1859. The aqueduct project was built under the guidance of the eminent Civil Engineer John Frederick Bateman (1810–1889), an example of his engineering prowess that can still be seen working today. The second aqueduct was opened in 1901.

Water levels are supplemented via a dam and short tunnel from Loch Arklet, a reservoir located between Loch Katrine itself and Loch Lomond, beside the road to Inversnaid, this project was completed in 1914. A longer tunnel beneath Ben A'an which brings water from the Glen Finglas Reservoir was completed in 1958, with dam being completed in 1965.

Oil-fired vessels are not permitted to sail its waters due to the danger of pollution to the drinking water of Glasgow. Instead a biodiesel fueled, steam-powered boat named the SS Sir Walter Scott offers local tourist transport between Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar during summer.

Robert Roy MacGregor was born at the head of the loch.

Settlements[edit]

Stronachlachar from Loch Katrine with Factor's Isle in the foreground.

The main access points for Loch Katrine are either via Trossachs Pier at the loch's eastern end or Stronachlachar (Gaelic Sròn a' Chlachair "the headland of the stonemason") towards the western end of the loch. Trossachs Pier essentially consists of a parking space, pier, gift shop and cafe (Katrine Cafe) which are open from the first to the last sailing of the cruise boats, (normally 6pm).[2]

On the northern shore are the Brenchoile hunting lodge and the farms Letter (Gaelic: Leitir), Edra (Gaelic: Eatarra "between them"), Strone (Gaelic: An t-Sròn "the nose"), Coilachra, Portnellan (Gaelic: Port an Eilein "port of the island") and Glengyle (Gaelic: Gleann Goill "glen of a lowlander"), on the southern are The Dhu (Gaelic: An Dubh "the black") at the western end of the loch, Stronachlachar, the Royal Cottage, Culligart and Glasahoile (Gaelic: Glas-choille "greywood").

The roads and paths do not circle the loch completely, as the southern road stops at Glasahoile.

Islands[edit]

There are several small islands in Loch Katrine such as Ellen's Isle (Gaelic: An t-Eilean Molach "the shingly isle"), the Black Isle and Factor's Island (Gaelic: Eilean a' Bhàillidh).

Trivia[edit]

The view of Cruinn Bheinn, with Beinn Mheadhonach and Meall Gaothach to the right, on the northern shore of Loch Katrine.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC 2, Britain's Lost Routes. Griff Rhys Jones, Documentary about Highland Cattle Drovers". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  2. ^ "The Loch Katrine Experience". Lochkatrine.com. 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  3. ^ "Fox Talbot's 1844 photograph of Loch Katrine". Birmingham Museum of Art. Retrieved 30 September 2013.