Auchindrain from Appletree Cottage: 53 miles
Inhabited from at least the 1600s to the mid 1960s Auchindrain is possibly the only village to survive substantially unaltered since the highland clearances of the late 18th and the 19th centuries. We decided to pay it a visit The village is now preserved and is open in summer months Wednesday thru Sunday so we decided to pay a visit.
Located 6 miles west of Inveraray and 53 miles from Appletree Cottage it took us just over an hour to get there, a very pleasant and beautiful journey along the shores of Loch Lomond, Loch Long and Loch Fyne (see previous blog)
The site nestles in a hollow on the south side of the Inveraray to Lochgilphead road.
The village escaped plans of the mid 1700s which altered many dwellings in the district to crofts. Instead it survived in its original form and is now Category A listed. The Auchindrain Trust, a museum charity now runs and maintains the buildings and their surroundings.
Many of the structures have been maintained in their original form. Others have been left much as they were when abandoned in the 1960s.
Queen Victoria visited in 1875 whilst staying at Inveraray Castle. Since then several thatched roofs have been replaced with corrugated iron - in some cased the corrugated iron has been placed directly on top of the former thatched roof which must have helped a little with insulation.
Living accommodation in the houses was fairly basic - bedroom / living room kitchen / byre at the end of the building with its own door but also with an internal connecting door. Box beds were the order of the day with some cast iron bedsteads installed in later times.
The byres still retain many of their original features and pens. The warmth from the animals would help to heat the rest of the house. People would have soon grown used to the smell (of the animals(!)) and the connecting internal door would save going outside to milk and tend in grim wet and wild weather.
In all there are around 22 buildings in various states of repair and some undergoing repair whilst we were there.
The stonework on many of the buildings is of such high quality given the materials the stonemasons had to work with. Random large round rocks fitted together in tight formation into a vertical windproof wall devoid of gaps. Some massive stones to move in the process.
It is thought there was a grain mill on the other side of the burn from the main township. In the barns there is a good collection of early agricultural machinery with explanatory notes.
There are interesting outdoor features and more agricultural machinery lying here and there. All in all an excellent place to visit on a day out by Inveraray.
The museum is a ready made set for location filming and true to its origins. Several productions have made use of its settings in the past.