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Mamore

When the Kinlochleven smelter was opened in 1909, there was little reason to buy large tracts of land. Situated on the Argyllshire side of the River Leven, the factory, housing and associated works were all on land owned by the MacAlpine-Downie family as part of their 35,000 acre Appin Estate. The water rights and the construction of the Blackwater dam were all part of the package and it wasn’t until 1935 that the position changed.

Housing for factory employees had been built on the only small area of flat land on the Argyll-shire bank of the river and, as the factory developed, so did the need for additional accommodation. The obvious solution was to buy a similar relatively small area owned by the Fairfax-Lucy family on the Inverness-shire side of the river. The establishment of a large scale industrial process which inevitably impinged on the peace and quiet they had hitherto enjoyed was not to their liking and they agreed to sell 35 acres of low lying land for housing on condition that the rest of the estate – some 35,000 acres – was taken off their hands. Their family home at Callart on the north shore of Loch Leven with its surrounding estate was sufficiently far from Kinlochleven to remain unaffected, so the bargain suited them well.

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