Friday, 17 January 2014

Torr Solais

Torr Solais, the hill of light, lies between the B8007 as it enters the village of Kilchoan and the coast to the east of the CalMac ferry terminal.  As the word torr suggests, it isn't a large hill, more a rocky mound - it's the green hill to the left of the houses in this picture, with the ridge of Glas Bheinn rising behind it.

Torr Solais itself is the northern height of a knobbly ridge, seen running north-south at the centre of this satellite picture - Pier Road is to the left, the B8007 runs along the top, and Mingary Steading can be seen at the right.  Although so close to Kilchoan, the area isn't easy to access: the best way is through the back of the Community Centre's land.  But the other day I was in the company of Ricky Clark, so we tried to get in from the Mingary road, which involved wading through feet of mud on either side of the burn that runs down past Mingary.  At one point Mr Clark looked permanently stuck.

It may be a low hill, but the views are well worth the effort.  This looks across the back of the houses in Pier Road to Kilchoan Bay, the Ormsaigbeg end of the village and, rising above it, the peak of Beinn na Seilg.

From the southern end of the ridge, just above the Coastguard station, one starts to get views along the coast to the east.  We were lucky with the weather and, with the sun low in the southwest, the colours were magnificent.

After walking parallel to the coast Mingary Castle came in to view.  The structure is sheathed in scaffolding while extensive renovations are being carried out.  When finished, the two properties within it will be available for rent.  To follow what's happening, go to the Mingary Castle blog, here.

One of the purposes of our walk was to see if there were any archaeological remains in the area.  There were.  The green grassy areas were criss-crossed by old stone walls, we found a trackway that look as if it may have run from Mingary Castle to Kilchoan, and much of the land showed signs of rig and furrow workings.  But the highlight was this building, roughly 8m by 5m, built of stone and probably a farmhouse surrounded by its fields.  To its right is a small enclosed area which would probably have been at the front of the house, so it would have had wonderful views towards Mingary Castle and Ben Hiant.

1 comment:

  1. Glorious weather for this walk, Jon. Not a hill I know; thank you for taking us there.