Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Walk to Corrievullin

Corrievullin is a deserted clachan.  The tiny settlement was cleared in the years around 1828, its houses destroyed, and its people moved to other clachans - the Swordles, Ormsaigbeg.  Its name means corrie or hollow of the mill, so the best way to reach it is to walk down the stream beside which the mill once stood.

We did this walk on a bright March day, ideal walking weather with the sun out and a cool north breeze.  We left our car near the silage bales at Caim (see map at bottom of this entry), crossed the bridge, and followed the east bank of the stream.  The sides of the small valley are covered in thick stands of oak, hazel and silver birch, and they become increasingly steep, with some fine waterfalls, so its best to keep to the east of the deer fence.

The mill site is on a flat area of grassland just where the stream, the Allt Choire Mhuilinn (the OS's spelling), reaches the sea.  The outline of buildings is clearly visible in the grass, and there is another building in the brambles and bracken to the left of the rock outcrop.  We assumed that the mill was worked by water, but there is no sign of a millrace - the valley sides here are extremely steep.

We then walked northeast from the mill site, climbing a series of low scarps before stopping to look back at the view.  Mingary Castle is clearly visible; the land at top left is the north cast of Mull, and the low island in the distance above the castle is Coll.

The main part of the village in sited on one of the higher platforms.  The ruins of a house are clearly visible at left, and to the right is an enclosure - perhaps a sheep fold or a kaleyard where crops were grown.

 Most of the houses are to the east: there are several in this picture.

Climbing higher, we looked back across the village site.  While the views on a fine day like the one we enjoyed are stunning, it must have been a breezy place is a southwesterly storm - though the houses are tucked down behind a low ridge.

The dark feature running across the bottom right is a stone wall.  It's beautifully built, but it wasn't built by the inhabitants of Corrivullin but by the man who subsequently kept the sheep run at Mingary, because the villagers were cleared to make way for a large sheep farm.

The wall is a testament to the settlement's destruction, for it seems likely that the stones from the houses were used to build it.

An interactive map of the area is here.
The walk is on Ardnamurchan Estate land.  There are often cows and sheep in these fields.

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