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Between 13,000 and 10,000 years ago the ice sheets finally retreated from this area and by 7000 years ago the grasses, shrubs and small trees such as birch that first covered the land were themselves covered by extensive forest populated with elk, deer, bear and wolves. Our local human history began with the Middle Stone Age people who as nomadic hunter/gatherers established migration routes which can be traced today in the layout of modern roads. One such track led down the line of Dingwall high street to the ferry crossing to Alcaig. An influx of new arrivals occurred about 3500BC from Europe and these became the farmers creating permanent settlements leading to connecting routes. The main overland routes to the south from the Black Isle were the drovers’ routes. Muir of Ord’s Market Stance was the meeting point for the droves from the Black Isle, Strathconon and Easter Ross before their journey south to Crieff and Falkirk.
 

This article will uncover some of the historical paper evidence of roads and the changes to the roads that have taken place in recent times. The local ferries will be covered as will the effect of the railway system from Inverness to Muir of Ord, Dingwall and Invergordon with reference to the Fortrose branch and "our own" attempt to join the railway system as told in the chapter "The railway that nearly came to Culbokie".

Illustrations of the various means of transport associated with Culbokie have been added to the Gallery at the foot of this page.

The photos of lorries and buses illustrate what the village would have seen on a daily basis prior to the building of the A9, in the case of the lorries, and the increase in car ownership, in the case of the buses. H D Fraser had their depot at Balblair and Highland Haulage had their depot at Rootfield at the Leaniag crossroads. The only viable route south from all parts of the Black Isle was the B9169 to Muir of Ord and then hence via Beauly to Inverness. There is still one haulage company to be represented and that Duncan McCallum, Braefindon, but as yet there are no photographs available.

Click on one of the images to open a slide show and progress left or right. It is quite likely that this gallery will be updated quite regularly as more historic photographs relating to Culbokie become available.

"Diligence" coach of the type running between Inverness, Beauly, Dingwall and Tain, accessed by the ferry across to Foulis
Carts collecting coal from Findon Pier
Carts collecting coal from Findon Pier
Horse and trap fom Findon Mains
Horse and trap fom Findon Mains
Post man
Post man
Horse and trap at the smiddy in Conon Bridge
Horse and trap at the smiddy in Conon Bridge
Wheelwright, Culbokie
Wheelwright, Culbokie
Culbokie smiddy
Culbokie smiddy
Messrs Hannan's threshing machine
Messrs Hannan's threshing machine
Blacksmith
Blacksmith
Another view of the smiddy
Another view of the smiddy
Abandoned lorry used as a hen house
Abandoned lorry used as a hen house
Converted bus - H D Fraser
Converted bus - H D Fraser
Cromarty to Kessock bus
Cromarty to Kessock bus
Mr Hastie's charabanc, Rosemarkie
Mr Hastie's charabanc, Rosemarkie
The following 4 photos are of buses run by Ross of Balblair
The following 4 photos are of buses run by Ross of Balblair
Site of the original garage for Ross's buses. Looking west along the B9163 at the road end to Inch.
Site of the original garage for Ross's buses. Looking west along the B9163 at the road end to Inch.
Butcher's travelling shop
Butcher's travelling shop
Dingwall bus depot - now Keyline
Dingwall bus depot - now Keyline
Archie's bus - location unknown
Archie's bus - location unknown
Another Archie's bus
Another Archie's bus
H D Fraser garage at Balblair, the gable wall still exists
H D Fraser garage at Balblair, the gable wall still exists
A whole new meaning to
A whole new meaning to "moving house"!
Three photos of Highland Haulage lorries. There was a very busy depot at the Leanaig cross-roads
Three photos of Highland Haulage lorries. There was a very busy depot at the Leanaig cross-roads
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