The Brig ‘o’ Blair

A key river crossing to Highland Scotland.

The Brig o’ Blair offers a fine view of the River Ericht, one of the Ecomuseum’s main rivers.

Its rapid and often turbulent water course, which descends 80 metres (262.4ft) from its headwaters at Bridge of Cally, provided the energy to power the many textile mills spinning Flax, Jute and latterly Rayon, that grew up along its banks during the 18th and 19th centuries.

This power was harnessed by building weirs on the river to divert the water into lades. These then channelled the water to water wheels which then turned, creating the power needed to run the steam powered machinery. The construction  of  weirs was  necessary  in order  to  raise the  level  of the  water  in the  river  and to  direct  it into  the  entrances of  the  mill lades  through  sluice gates.   The  higher the  croy  the greater  the  fall between  the  entrance of  the  lade and  the  mill-wheel, and  in  consequence the  greater  the power  produced.

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