NEWTONMORE

Banchor Farm, which today stands at the west end of Newtonmore, dates back to 1645. But in those days it stood alone. Newtonmore, which translates as big new town, only began to grow after 1750. The real spurt of growth came in the early 1800s as a result of the clearances. Families cleared from their crofts on estates in the central Highlands to make room for sheep grazing, settled where they had more room to grow crops than was possible in built-up Kingussie.

More formality arrived when a Parliamentary road was built through Newtonmore by Thomas Telford in 1817 to link Kingussie to Fort William. A new bridge had been built over the River Spey just south of Newtonmore in 1808, and the main Inverness to Perth road was also then routed through the village rather than via the ford and ferry between Kingussie and Ruthven Barracks.

The main route north continued to pass this way until the A9 bypass was built a little to the east in the late 1970s. As a result, most people now pass the village by without really noticing they are doing so: unlike neighbouring Kingussie, Newtonmore is not obvious from the new road.

Newtonmore also took advantage of the arrival of the Inverness and Perth Junction Railway (which later became part of the Highland Railway) in 1863. This brought visitors in ever greater numbers and led to the development of some of the hotels that feature so prominently in the village today.

The village today is still focused tightly around the main A86 road, and comes complete with a range of attractive grey stone or white harled houses with hotels, restaurants and other services.

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