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Rest & Be Thankful

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Rest & Be Thankful memorial stone
Rest & Be Thankful
Memorial stone

Rest & Be Thankful are the words which are located on a stone near the junction of the A83 and the B828, placed there by soldiers who built the original road in 1753, and the road has been known by the same name for centuries. The original stone fell into ruin and was replaced by a commemorative stone on the same site.

The inscription on the stone reads:

BY 93D REGT 1768

Motoring events

The original or Old Rest & Be Thankful road, the Old Military Road, fell into disuse many years ago, and was replaced by an easier, if longer, road up the mountain.

Almost since the arrival of the motor car around 1900, the old road had became the scene of many motoring events, generally intended to show of the capabilities of those early cars, and gain sales for them in the resultant publicity which the winner of the event received. In those early days, cars were really the playthings of the rich, and events such as those at the Rest & Be Thankful allowed the owners to enjoy their possessions, but more seriously, also allowed many of the early car makers to have their cars driven in a manner that stressed and tested them in ways not be found in normal driving on the public road - unless they wanted to attract the attention of police (apparently even more enthusiastic about catching a motorist for any reason then than they are today, especially if period cartoons and sketches from the day are anything to go by!)

A group has formed: "The Friends of the Rest", with the aim of restoring the Old Military Road for safely staging events, and creating a motor heritage site.[1]

Jaguar on the Rest and be Thankful Hillclimb

Landslides lead to Old Military Road reopening

Following a series of landslides which blocked the A83 road several times over the preceding years, the Scottish Government drew up plans in 2012 to upgrade the old road for use by all traffic as an emergency bypass in the event of future blockages. Traffic would only use the route under a convoy system. Work on the old road was expected to be completed by November 2012.

One of the timber haul roads was also considered but rejected.

Work on an emergency diversion route for The Rest & Be Thankful section of the A83 was completed in February 2013, after the road had been forced to close six times during the past five years following incidents when heavy rain washed tonnes of debris down the hillside and damaged the road.

Vehicle convoys tested the new relief route, which was reopened along the Old Military Road in Glen Croe in Argyll at a cost of £3.7 million. Before this, drivers had to undertake diversions of up to 50 miles whenever the A83 Rest and be Thankful road was closed.

It will be used if the main road forced to close for any reason.[2]


Looking at the Google map below, at the time of review, it unfortunately shows the Old Military Road text on the modern A83 road.

The Old Military Road is actually the much narrower track that lies a few metres to the west of the modern road.

World War II remains

Just below the car park at the top of the Rest & Be Thankful are two concrete bases thought to be remnants of pillboxes. To the side of the old road lie the foundations of a hut complete with fireplace. A short distance up the hill is a gulley, with the remnants of a Nissen hut, and a large concrete hut base. At both ends of the gulley the concrete bases of spigot mortars (Blacker Bombard) can be found, together with evidence of their defilades, or crew defences, and trenches leading to the gulley. There also appears to have been a trench defence on the edge of the hill.

These remains generally face the west, indicating that they were directed towards a perceived threat approaching up the hill, and from the general direction of the village of Arrochar, implying defence of the area to the east, which is primarily open land.

As we are not aware of any particular threat, or resource in need of defence in the area, was there any particular strategic reason for this position, or was it simply a training area, placed in a remote location? We would be interested to receive any further information about the site.


Pillbox position overlooking old and new roads, 2007
Pillbox position overlooking old
and new roads
Eastern spigot mortar base, 2007
Eastern spigot mortar base

Eastern spigot mortar base, 2007
Western spigot mortar base

Nissen hut remains, 2007
Nissen hut remains

Spigot mortar in use, believed pd by age and type
Typical World War II spigot mortar


1 Friends of the Rest Retrieved July 28, 2012.

2 A83 Rest and be Thankful emergency diversion ready Retrieved April 07, 2013.

External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-



Aerial views



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