River Naver

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Naver, a lake and a river of Farr parish, Sutherland. Lying 247 feet above sea-level, and commencing near Altnaharrow inn, 21 miles N by W of Lairg station and 17 S by W of Tongue, Loch Naver extends 6¼. miles east-north-eastward, and has a maximum breadth of 4¼ furlongs. Its depth in some parts is 30 fathoms, and Benclibrick rises from its southern shore to a height of 3154 feet. It receives at its head the River of Mudale, is fed by sixteen other streams and rivulets and contains near its SE shore a tiny islet, on which is a circular Pictish tower, built of large stones without any cement. Its waters are stocked with salmon, grilse, sea-trout, and trout, but, whilst the trout-fishing is poor, 52 salmon have been killed by a single rod in seven weeks. Parts of the shore are pebbly, others rocky and sandy. The surrounding scenery is of great beauty. The immediate banks are well tufted with natural wood, and the surface behind rises generally into abrupt rocks or low hills, but soars on the S into alpine Benclibrick, the second highest mountain in Sutherland, whilst the backgrounds to E and W are formed by the grand summits of Kildonan and the Reay country.

The river Naver (the Nabarus of Ptolemy) issues from the foot of Loch Naver, and winds 187/8 miles north-byeastward through broad green meadows or between steep birch-clad slopes, till it falls into Torrisdale Bay, 9 furlongs W of Bettyhill of Farr. It is joined, ½ mile below its mouth, by the Abhainn a' Mhail Aird, running 7½ miles north-by-eastward from Loch Corr, and, lower down, by forty-six lesser streams and rivulets. The Naver, as a salmon river, is the earliest and by far the best of all the rivers in the N of Sutherland, its six 'beats' letting each for £100 a year. Its vale, Strathnaver, the finest strath perhaps in the county, contains a considerable extent of fertile haughland, a mixture of sand, gravel, and moss, which for many years prior to 1820 was cultivated by upwards of 300 families. But since the famous Sutherland 'evictions,' brought freshly to mind by Prof. Blackie and Mr Sellar, Strathnaver has been wholly pastoral.—Ord. Sur., shs. 108, 109, 115, 114, 1878-80.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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