This postcard, from the middle of the 20th century, shows the Newtonmore Bridge over the River Spey near the village of Newtonmore. This bridge, designed by Sir Owen Williams and Maxwell Ayrton, was built in 1926 and replaced one of Thomas Telford's Parliamentary bridges when the old north road, a Parliamentary road, was upgraded to become the A9. The building of the new A9 means that it now by-passed.
Situated in the southern end of Badenoch and Strathspey on the upper reaches of the Spey there is no record of a village at Newtonmore before the beginning of the 19th century. There is evidence of prehistoric settlements and early townships in nearby Glen Banchor. It was not until after the building of a bridge over the Spey in 1756 and the clearances at the end of the eighteenth century that a hamlet was built on the new north road. According to the Third Statistical Account the village was founded by James Macpherson, son of the James Macpherson who "translated" the poems of Ossian.
Originally called Stonemuir the name was changed in 1828 to Newtownmore - the town on the moor. At the beginning of the 19th century the biggest cattlemakets between Inverness and Falkirk were held here. With Queen Victoria's interest in the Highlands, she had visited and even considered buying nearby Ardverikie, Newtonmore grew as a holiday resort, the large estates providing hunting, shooting and fishing for the gentry.
At 800ft above sea level, sheltered from north winds by the Monadhliadh Mountains and protected by the Grampians and the Cairngorms this quiet, traditional village is reckoned to be the most inwardly point in Scotland, equidistant from the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea and is one of the driest parts of the country. The climate has made it a popular health resort and in recent years it has been a central location for the BBC television series "Monarch of the Glen".
This photograph is featured in Then and Now