Serious damage to Faindouran Bothy

East gable of Faindouran Bothy, Glen Avon, Cairngorms

The east gable of Faindouran Bothy showing the damage. Picture copyright Gary Dickson

Shock news this week that Faindouran Bothy in Glen Avon (NJ 081 062) has suffered serious damage and is currently in a dangerous condition. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED.

The damage was discovered on February 7 by Gary Dickson and his companions, who arrived to find the chimney stack and top of the gable wall had collapsed, exposing the attic.

Close-up of damaged gable at Faindouran Bothy, Cairngorms

Close-up of the damaged gable. Picture copyright Gary Dickson

Reporting the damage to the MBA, Gary said: “Downstairs looked ok other than some water dripping down the chimney and through the loft hatch, and the front door not wanting to shut quite properly.

We slept downstairs (with hindsight, should have probably kipped over the road) and could occasionally hear what sounded like small bits of stone or something (possibly just ice) falling down the chimney.”

In fact that is the advice for anyone heading for Faindouran for the foreseeable future: use the pony shed a few yards from the bothy. Permission has been granted from the estate and, though it’s pretty basic shelter, it is a safer option than risking the bothy, which may yet suffer more damage in severe weather.

The MBA will be sending volunteers up as soon as possible but Faindouran is remote and carrying out a proper survey of the damage may not be possible until spring. Certainly there is no hope of a quick repair and, without sounding too alarmist a note, the whole future of the bothy may be in doubt because of this.

Faindouran is in a remote area with no nearby alternatives other than the nearby pony shed or, further up the glen, the basic shelter of the Fords of Avon Refuge, so anyone heading to that area should ensure their plans do not depend on the bothy being usable until further notice.

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10 Responses to Serious damage to Faindouran Bothy

  1. Sad to hear this news. It is not a bothy I have ever been to. Do you know the history? I wondered if it had been a farm at all or was it built with sport in mind.

    • Ironically, I was just about to start researching the history so I could write a page about Faindouran for the Cairngorm Bothies section. Sadly, that won’t be happening now until we find out what’s happening with the bothy.
      From the appearance of the ruins around it, though, I’d guess it was a farmstead rather than a shotting lodge.

  2. Jim Ford says:

    Great shame. Faindouran is my 2nd favourite bothy!
    Is the pony shed mentioned a replacement for the tumble down one further downstream, or is it the shed almost opposite the bothy? I wouldn’t like to sleep in the latter – IIRC it had a wet rocky floor!

    Jim

    • Hi Jim, I’m afraid it is the shed almost opposite the bothy door. I haven’t been there for some years now but I agree, it could only realistically be used in an emergency. However if you are out there and need shelter, it’s the only safe option in the meantime. Like I said in the post, the MBA are on it and will act as quickly as possible, but that will still take some time, so everybody should consider alternative plans.

  3. David Albon says:

    Sad to hear of the damage and hints at uncertainties for the future. Have stayed/passed by there on previous TGO Challenges. Noticed Andy Mayhew has responded to a post re this on TGOC Message Board.

    • At the moment the MBA Eastern Area rep is talking about April for a proper reconaissance visit, so it is highly unlikely that the bothy will be fit for use by the time of this year’s TGO Challenge. However the MBA will release more information as it becomes available.

  4. Colin Campbell says:

    I can remember that Bothy near Loch Pattack, on the way to Culra Lodge on the Ardverikie Estate. The west chimney and part of the gable fell one night during a snow storm in late January1968. I just happened to be sleeping at the other end when it happened, the noise was horrendus as I thought that the whole place was going to cave-in. However, after having a good look around I decided that it was safe to go back to kip and survey the full extent of the damage in the morning light.
    The damage was bad, and it had collapsed due to the bothies stonework not being pointed enough over the years past. I did inform the estate factor, and the MBA when I was a member then. I revisited again in 1970, 74, 78, 82 and the last time was in 1992. In all that time, nothing had been done to rectify that damage…..Why ?

    PS Beware of the damp.

    • Hi Colin, I don’t know the bothy you refer too, but whether it was ever repaired would have been up to the estate, which owns it. The MBA can only look after bothies where it has an agreement to do so with the owner. I’m not aware of any MBA bothy near Loch Pattack.

      • Colin Campbell says:

        Hello Neil,
        I think that I was refering to that Bothy near to Loch Pattack was in with the majority of Bothies within Scotland as being listed at the time in 1968 in the MBA’s handbook. That is what I should have said, instead of implying it. Sorry about the confusion. Cheers C

      • Hi Colin, no bother, but in any case it was a bit before my time (I think that was the year I first visited Corrour Bothy as a wee bairn) and outside my area of (alleged) expertise. That would really be up to someone from MBA at the time or in that area to answer.

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