Foyers (Scottish Gaelic: Foithir, meaning "shelving slope")[1] is a village in the Highland council area of Scotland,[2] lying on the east shore of Loch Ness. The village is situated on the B852, part of the Military Road built by General George Wade, 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Fort Augustus.

River Foyers. Looking upstream on the river Foyers
Foyers is located in Inverness area
Location within the Inverness area
OS grid referenceNH496209
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • Inverness
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°15′14″N 4°29′41″W / 57.2539°N 4.4947°W / 57.2539; -4.4947

The village is divided into Upper Foyers and Lower Foyers. Upper Foyers was originally a traditional crofting township and Lower Foyers came later after the British Aluminium Company built houses for those inployed in the aluminium works. The two are separated by the two waterfalls known as the Falls of Foyers.

Foyers is also the name of the river which runs nearby into the Loch, which has two waterfalls, the upper one of 14 metres (46 ft) and the lower one of 30 metres (98 ft), known as the Falls of Foyers.[3]

Since the late 19th century, water courses near Foyers have been harnessed to provide hydroelectricity. British Aluminium Company built their first hydro-powered aluminium smelter at Foyers in 1896 - the first in the UK - and it operated until 1967, powered by water captured in Loch Mhòr. The power station element of the plant was then purchased by Scotland's Hydro Board and redeveloped using a 5MW turbine. Subsequently, a new pumped storage power station, with additional capacity of 300MW, was added, becoming fully operational in 1975.[4]

Foyers is the location of Boleskine House, two miles east of the main town, which was the home of author and occultist Aleister Crowley. The house was once owned by guitarist and Crowley collector Jimmy Page.

Foyers was historically a strong Gaelic-speaking area, with 84.1% reporting as Gaelic-speaking in the 1881 census.[5] However, only 4.9% of residents reported as Gaelic-speaking in the 2011 census.[6]

References edit

  1. ^ "Foyers". Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland. Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Foyers". The Gazetteer for Scotland. School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh and The Royal Scottish Geographical Society. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Falls of Foyers, Great Glen: The Smoking Falls". Scottish Geology Trust. Archived from the original on 18 May 2022.
  4. ^ Foyers Hydro-Electric Power Scheme, Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved: 13 November 2015.
  5. ^ Duwe, Kurt K. (2012). Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies Vol. 23: Inbhir Nis & Taobh Loch Nis (PDF). p. 10.
  6. ^ Output areas S00117730 and S00117729. 2011 Scottish Census.