Drove Roads and the Tolmounth

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Many old rights of way through the hills are also routes formerly used for droving. This trade grew alongside the increasing urbanisation of the 17th and 18th centuries. Drove roads were the arteries down which the thousands of cattle streamed from the Highlands in the autumn to the markets of the central belt: first Crieff, then Falkirk and thence over the Border to England. The trade died out in the late 19th century. The definitive account is in ARB Haldane’s “Drove Roads of Scotland” first published in 1952 and still in print.

The Tolmounth (Jock’s Road) was once one of these vital arteries. The markets at either end were held a couple of days apart in order to give the drovers enough time to transport cattle or sheep left from the first mart to the second. Glen Clova's Cullow market was held in April and October. The New Statistical Account for Cortachy and Clova (1842) states it "has become one of the best sheep markets in the north of Scotland" and that the grounds are "most conveniently situated for the flocks as they descend from the mountains". It remained in use until relatively late in the nineteenth century; the Cullow Market Stance (NO383614) is shown on the OS 6" 1st edition mapping (1843-1882) but is marked as disused by the time of the 2nd edition (1892-1905).