Two hundred years ago this was to be the shortest direct route to the south coming from Banffshire / Aberdeenshire, crossing the hills to Invermark, over again on to the road leading to Lethnot.
In the same period this road had two names. The first was Priests Road because the Episcopalian minister of Lochlee and Lethnot travelled on it from the manse in upper Glenesk. The other name was the Whisky Road - the joy of bootleggers and the bane of the exciseman. There were dozens of stills' on the hill burns, and several could be seen in the Lethnot area until just a few years ago. The making of illegal whisky slowly died away as the authorities became to clever in catching the bootleggers and by 1790 the majority of stills were ceased, with only a few left till around 1825-30.
Two bridges are evident side by side on the West Water at Bridgend by the old Post Office house. The modern, prefabricated one is put to shame by the once graceful arch of the old bridge. Although the old bridge has now collapsed into the river, the parapets can still be seen. The central stone is said to have been inscribed 1725, and was allegedly built due to a battle of religions, between the Presbyterians and the Episcopalians.
In the now derelict cottage at the Paphry burn (Burnfoot) this was occupied until 1981. The house at one time had been a country inn. There was no electricity and the creek at the rear of the house was where the occupants carried buckets of water. Because of the situation of the cottage, when there was a heavy rainfall the Paphry would rise to such a depth that it extinguished the fire in the cottage, the only form of heating available to the occupants. Water shot through the slabs on the floor like little fountains.
Lethnot village hail was used by the community during the second world war as it was equipped with black - out shades which would not let any light out as bomber planes flew overhead. Social events were scheduled for full moon' nights so as the local people could make their way to the hall on foot without carrying lanterns.
The history of Glen Lethnot goes on. Although the smallest and least know of all the glens, it has made it's own mark on the Scottish hillside, much of which still remains a mystery to modern day thinking.
There is now only one school in Lethnot, set in the heart of the glen amidst hills and farms At present there are fifteen pupils with a head teacher and various supporting, visiting teachers who teach a variety of curricular areas including music, art, and P.E. The children come from mainly farming backgrounds although there a number of families who have chosen to live in the glen and work outside.
There has been a school on the present site since 1824.
It was built to accommodate "52 pupils and 46 girls ! The building was
modernised and an additional classroom and kitchen/ dining room was built
in 1970, although school dinners have been served in the village hall since
1950.The school now provides a relevant, modern environment in which the
local children can learn and develop.
In August 1939 the school roll was forty pupils this included 19 evacuees from Dundee. An extra teacher from bundee was employed to teach the evacuees and in becember of 1939 they moved out of the school to the village hall.
At one time there was more than one school in the Glen. The second was situated on the west water about five miles up the glen. This was known as the Westwater School and was only open during the winter months. Evidence shows that it was still open in 1904........
Post Office and Village Shop
The Lethnot Post Office is mentioned in the 1883 Ordinance Gazette of Scotland.
Through the 1900's there was a Post Office and shop at Bridgend. The shop closed in 1971 for economic reasons and the Post Office closed on the 26.4.76. When the postmistress of 27 years retired the head postmaster visited her from Dundee.
Electricity came to the glen in the late 1950's.
Late 1700's 555 1801 489 1851 408
1901 238 1960 142 2000 63
In 1960 all the farms in Lethnot were tenanted farms except
one. In 2000 all the farms are in estate bands except one. On one 4,500
acre estate of Hill and grassland there were 13 families employed in Lethnot
in the 1960.
Now in 2000 it only employees 2 families to work in the Glen.
Recently some of the empty houses have been sold or rented out to people who work outwith the glen. This helps keep the glen populated and the school open but also changes the glen in some way.
Lethnot Hall was built in the early 1900's with money raised locally and under control of the parish council. It was officially opened on the 7th October 1919. It was built to seat 250 people with stage and several ante-rooms. The Countess of Dalhousie performed the opening ceremony.
There are a variety of things held in the halil and is the centre of the whole community.
Until the 1990's the W.R.I and Mens Club held their meeting in the ball. Xmas parties, concerts, vocational classes and fundraising activities for the local school are also held here.
In 1999 money was raised to bring the kitchen in the hail up to Health & Safety standards. In 1999 the ball received a National Lotery Grant to buy items sorely needed.
Up until 1723 there were two churches in the Glen. Lethnot linked with Lochlee, its church is situated on the North side of the Westwater.
The parish of Navar is on the south side of the river near Leightnie, however only the bell tower of this church can now be seen.
The parishes were united in 1723 and the minister insisted
on a bridge being built so his parishioners could travel to the Lethnot
The present Lethnot & Navar church was built in 1827 but fell into disrepair in the late 1950's. The parish is now joined to Edzell and the Letlmot Navar parish ceased to be a separate identity in 1953 with the union consummated on the 2nd January 1953. The name Navar was dropped and the church in Edzell is now named the Edzell Lethnot Church. The I3th century font from Navar is now positioned at the door of the Edzell Lethnot church. The Navar bell can be seen in the Meffan Museum in Forfar. The Lethnot Bell is positioned halfway up the stairs in the Edzell Lethnot church.