Friday, 11 October 2013

Layers of history

It is this time of year that with the vegetation dying back and with no seabirds to distract your eye you can start noticing the structures left by man from the past. And often they are in layers, one built upon another. Recently waiting for a boat at the north end of the island I had a bit of time to look more closely at some of the structures down there.  Above picture is the built up bit of track where the High Road crosses Cable Cleft near to Alterstanes. The visitor doesn't get a good view but there are actually 2 layers of track, one built upon another. My guess is that the first was built at or after the time of the Mainlight was built, i.e.1816. At that time access was required only by horse and cart to Alterstanes to collect deliveries and meet the passengers boats that docked there. However is 1934 the North Horn was built and so better and wider access with less of a gradient was required and the road was built up hence the second layer of track that shows different stone work and less lichen.

Just to the north is the Rona crossing point. Now there is no bridge across the tidal gap but there are the remains of 2 bridges on either side. The lower, earlier bridge was only wide enough to be a foot bridge and maybe dates to Victorian times. Whereas the bigger bridge which has the air line pipe that went to operate the North Horn must have been built later, maybe as a way of getting machinery and equipment across to Rona to do the actual building. The final bridge across this gap was built in the early 1970's and was dismantled as it was dangerous in 2002 . It was called Nybo bridge but as of yet I do not know why. 

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