Highlands & Islands

Marks left 200 years ago found at Caledonian Canal

Mark Image copyright Scottish Canals
Image caption A stonemason's mark on a canal wall

Marks left by men involved in the building of the Caledonian Canal 200 years ago have been found during work to replace lock gates on the waterway.

Scottish Canals has drained a 7,293m (23,927ft) long section of the canal to provide safe access to the gates at Fort Augustus and nearby Kytra.

Several stonemasons' marks have been found carved into stone of the walls that line the canal.

The marks would normally be hidden underwater.

Image copyright Scottish Canals
Image caption The marks would normally be hidden underwater
Image copyright Scottish Canals
Image caption The symbols have been revealed after a section of the canal was drained

Scottish Canals said: "There are a few of them in the lock flight.

"Each stonemason was required to have an individual 'mark' to sign his work.

"Counting the marks was often used to work out how much work each mason had done and how much they should be paid."

Image copyright George McBurnie/Scottish Canals
Image caption The drained canal at Fort Augustus
Image copyright Scottish Canals
Image caption The lock gates at Kytra are also being replaced

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