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One confusing factor in respect of the via regia near Grantown is an old road that passes through Cromdale parish where there is a ford over the Spey and which runs north to Forres - see sheet 75 of the 1st edition one-inch map - which one or two writers have equated with the via regia.This is unlikely as it has a totally different line from the via regia though it could be possible that the via regia branched off from this road though proof would be needed for this.The early bishops had their seat at earlier Culdee settlements at Kinneddar, Birnie and Spynie but moved from Spynie to Elgin which was less remote and relatively safe.Two of the references are to the via regias near the Findhorn and south of Grantown which have already been mentioned as well as a via regia just east of Elgin, another in Inverness, as well as local roads in these two burghs.The course of this road can be seen on James Robertson's map of 1822 (western sheets) as a "romanum iter suppositum" running from Spittal of Glenshee through Braemar to near Tomintoul, then Cromdale.The charters and other documents looked at here are also useful for more local routes although they often have their ambiguities.Note: The maps below are based on the half-inch maps, sheets 14 and 15, dated 1912, the quarter-inch map for the Eastern Highlands 1923 and the 1921 one-inch map for Lower Strathspey. The sources examined so far give some indication of both local and regional routes.
See also chapter one of Inverness in the 15th Century by Evan Mac Leod Barron, 1906 for a description of the streets and roads in the town."that temple tenement of biggit land with the yard thereof, lying in the town of Inverness, on the north side of the hie gaitt, betwixt the tenement of John Cuthbert on the east, the vennel or street leading to the kirk of Inverness on the west, the high street on the south, and the yard and back house pertaining to the said John Cuthbert on the north, possessed by Alexander Cuthbert and his subtenants;another temple land and tenement lying in the said burgh upon the south side of the gait, betwixt the lands pertaining to on the east, the passage or vennel that leads to the castle on the west, the kingis hie streit on the north, and the back land pertaining to on the south, possessed by Alexander Bayne and his subtenants;another temple tenement of biggit land with yard and pertinents lying in the territory of the burgh of Inverness, outwith the eist port thereof, possessed by Finlay Mc faill One charter of 1601 mentions a couple of these, as follows: ..Ardrosseir by all right bounds, viz.
Kinloss Abbey, which was a Cistercian abbey founded in 1150 by David I as a daughter house of Melrose abbey and itself founded new houses at Culross and New Deer in the early 1200's, has a reference to the via regia between Forres and Elgin and a Blakeford which is difficult to identify.
Other Kinloss charters refer to a grant of Strathisla in Grange, Keith and Rothiemay parishes which while not specifically mentioning roads at least allows routes to be inferred.
The Forres - Elgin via regia is more than likely to be part of a continuous route running between the early burghs of Inverness, Nairn, Auldearn, Forres, Elgin, Cullen and Banff.
When taken in conjunction with Edward's itinerary we can connect this with two routes to the south, one to Aberdeen and so to routes to the south, and the other to the strategically located Kildrummy castle and then to other crossings of the Mounth and so to the south.