Set in the hills at the foot of the Lecht, the iron mine has a rich and interesting history. Originally opened by the York Buildings Company of London as an iron ore mine in 1730 the mine saw substantial losses and closed only seven years later. The iron ore was carried on pony-back over the river Avon (at the Fordmouth ford) and across the hills to Nethy Bridge, where the wood from Abernethy Forest was used to smelt it down into 'Strathavon pigs'.
The mine was re-opened in 1841 by the Duke of Richmond & Gordon as a Manganese Mine, and at it's peak of activity over 60 men and boys worked the mine and it was, and still is, the largest manganese mine ever worked in Scotland. Sadly competition from imported ore caused the mine to close for a final time after just 5 years of trading.
Only the crushing mill building remains, this being very solidly built to carry the water wheel, but spoil heaps and foundations of other buildings can be seen across the burn.
The mine can be reached by an attractive short walk from the Well of the Lecht car park.
Well of the Lecht
Across the road from the car park, a marker stone at the natural spring commemorates Colonel Lord Charles Hey and the five companies of the 33rd regiment that built, in 1754, the military road from here "to the Spey", at Grantown-on-Spey.
Location and map
Set in the stunning eastern Highlands of Scotland, there’s so much waiting to be discovered.
Read up before you visit so you can make the most of your time here.