The forgotten cottage - Arlehaven

Arlehaven Cottage shortly before it was demolished
Arlehaven Cottage, Blane Valley © Tom Weir

In early 2021 I was reading Tom Weir's iconic book, Weir's Way (the 1981 frist edition), and stumbled across an old black and white photograph taken by Weir of an idyllic cottage. The caption below the photograph gave its name as Arlehaven cottage and its location as Blane Valley, just off the West Highland Way path near Strathblanefield.

Unfortunately the photograph isn't dated. Weir himself was born in 1914 and the photograph appears in his book which was published in 1981. Based on those two dates the date range could be anywhere between 1930s-1970s. My guess is it was taken within the latter half of that range.

I became intrigued after seeing the photograph as back in 2019 I walked the West Highland Way and couldn't recall the cottage at all. After doing a bit of research on Google Maps to try and locate it I ultimately discovered that in 2005 the cottage was derelict and roofless and by 2011 it was no longer there.

Arieal photos of Arlehaven Cottage derelict in 2005 and completely gone by 2011
Arieal photos of Arlehaven Cottage derelict in 2005 and completely gone by 2011. Google Earth
Arlehaven Cottage derelict and roofless in November 2005
Arlehaven Cottage derelict and roofless in November 2005. Iain Thompson via CC BY-SA 2.0
West Highland Way at Arlehaven
Arlehaven in 2014. Credit: Lairich Rig via CC BY-SA 2.0

It is a shame that buildings like this vanish from the landscape and as time goes on are almost completely forgotten.


Posted in: scotland