Muckle Spate (1829)

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The Muckle Spate was a great flood in August 1829, which devastated much of Strathspey, in the north east of Scotland.

It began raining on the evening of 2 August 1829, and continued into the next day when a thunderstorm broke over the Cairngorms. To the south, the River Dee rose rapidly above its normal level - 15 ft (4.6 m) in places (27 ft at Banchory).[1] The Rivers Nairn, Findhorn, Lossie and Spey were affected, to the north.[2]


The old bridge at Carrbridge

As well as flooding, many bridges were washed away, including those over the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich. The original Mar Lodge was affected. Carrbridge's most famous landmark, the old bridge, built in 1717,[3] from which the village is named was severely damaged and left in the condition we see today. Homes were lost in Kingston, Moray, a small village on the Moray Firth coast, at the mouth of the River Spey. In Forres, five Findhorn fishing boats rescued residents.

The Muckle Spate is remembered in a poem of the same name by David Grant, written circa 1851, describing the effect on the parish of Strachan.[4]


  1. ^ Wyness, Fenton (1968), Royal Valley : The Story Of The Aberdeenshire Dee, Alex P. Reid & Son, Aberdeen 
  2. ^ "Muckle Spate". Greater Speyside Wiki. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "Overview of Carrbridge". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2015-08-26. 
  4. ^ "Muckle Spate". Retrieved 7 February 2009. 


  • Mcewen, J Lindsey, Werritty, Alan (January 2007). "The Muckle Spate of 1829: the physical and societal impact of a catastrophic flood on the River Findhorn, Scottish Highlands". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 32 (1): 66–89. doi:10.1111/j.1475-5661.2007.00232.x.