Hidden away at the head of Loch Leven the Highland village of Kinlochleven is in a unique location. Set amongst a stunning combination of mountain, loch, river, moor and woodland makes Kinlochleven a special place.
There is much more to Kinlochleven than just its magnificent scenery. Long before the arrival of the Aluminium Smelter in 1907, Kinlochleven existed as two small hamlets called Kinlochmore and Kinlochbeag. Kind Edward V11 stayed at Mamore Lodge on Kinlochmore Estate King while shooting in the area. Later the woodlands above Kinlochleven were chosen as a suitable site for a POW camp during World War 1. The remains of the site are still visible today, visited by many using a popular access path form the village.
The village of Kinlochleven was developed in the early 1900’s when the then North British Aluminium Company harnessed two of the Highlands natural assets – water and hills – to create the Blackwater Reservoir, a hydro-electric plant and the Kinlochleven Aluminium Smelter.
The small hamlet, built where the River Leven meets Loch Leven, quickly became the thriving one-industry village of Kinlochleven. As the smelter developed, so did the community. The smelter employed over 800 at times, making a major contribution to the economy of South Lochaber for almost a century. With strong international demand for aluminium the village quickly grew to a thriving community of over 1000 people. The smelter specialised in the production of high purity aluminium.
With the smelter now gone the village continues to be proud of its strong industrial heritage and has transformed itself into a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can also take advantage of superb accommodation, eating and shopping facilities within the village itself.
Kinlochleven POW Camp Centenary Commemoration Group are planning an event on 13 & 14 August 2016 to commemorate the centenary of the opening of the POW camps at Kinlochleven and Caolasnacon, the 2 largest of the 9 POW camps in the Highlands. Further details will follow shortly.