Landscapes Forum > Maiden Causeway Research

Maiden Causeway Visit - 20/05/13

Four sturdy Bailies, James McKay, John Nichol, Harry Leil and myself marched up Bennachie on Monday to investigate the Maiden Causeway, in the hope of shedding further light on its form and function. James and John brought rods to probe the ground, Harry and myself brought encouragement and a sense of authority to the proceedings!

Using the canes to find a possible solid surface and its edges below the heather, a 4 metre wide road was traced which could also be seen by a bank on the downward (eastern) side of the route. This feature was also indicated on early OS maps and an aerial photograph. At the point where the causeway and the Rowan Tree path separated (NJ 6842 2345) stonework was noted in the form of a revetment possibly continuing along the bank?

The roadway was traced by this manner as far as below Hosies Well (NJ 6814 2315) where it became more obscure, possibly due to being washed out or as indicated by the probes, a greater depth of overburden had developed. The area below Hosies Well has a flatter, terraced appearance maybe due to the outflow of the springs at this point or some other usage?

At this point to The Rushmill Burn it is quite wet and it was suggested that the road would have to turn uphill to avoid an awkward crossing of the burn, this seems to indicate that it crossed the path to Mither Tap just north of the burn and onward and upward towards and apparently around Nether Maiden to the west of The Tap. This is also indicated on the 1st edition OS map 1867.

The last section from The Rushmill Burn onwards is by map evidence only and is to be continued. At this point the sturdy Bailies were not so sturdy anymore and decided to call it a day with plans and hopes of continuing their adventure at some future date; the rest is uphill after all. If there is anybody out there with an inquiring mind and a lust for adventure, or you have any relevant information on this subject then don’t hesitate to get in touch, there is much to be done.

We tell it as we see it. Do you know different??

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Foster


What a great tale of adventure and enquiry! That is truly in the spirit of getting out on the hill and undertaking your own research. I'm not sure how much authority you and Harry would have brought, but I'm sure your talismanic presence was appreciated :). The methods you were employing sound ideal for initial ground-truthing of map data; fancy equipment is often not needed to produce solid information.

I am no scholar on this area of the hill, but I would certainly like to come along for the adventure the next time the intrepid gang head up there. It may be an area we can map with the GPS later in the season, ahead of hopeful further work in the future?

June 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterLeaf