Monday, 21 December 2015

Hughie's Apportionment

Some time ago Hughie suggested I look at a stone structure which stands on a low hill in his apportionment in Kilchoan. An apportionment in this sense is an area of land in a township's common grazings which, by agreement of the township committee, a crofter is allowed to fence for his/her exclusive use which, in Hughie's case, means keeping pigs. To my knowledge, three of Kilchoan township's seven crofters have apportionments, of whom Hughie is one.

Hughie's apportionment runs from the Sanna turn by the fire station, where he keeps his pigs, and....

 ....for some distance along the Sanna road. It includes a short stretch of the Millburn above the Fire Station, and a second, un-named burn which has cut the deep glen in this picture. The burn drains both Lochan nan Ealachan, the lochan of the swans, seen in the distance here, and Lochan na Crannaig, and is now used as part of Kilchoan's water supply.
We found the stone structure quite easily, but it's one of those archaeological remains which is very difficult to interpret. It most resembles two shieling huts - to left and right in this picture - with some sort of enclosure between.

There are other archaeological structures on the apportionment, including this cairn near the glen. It may just be a field cairn - a pile of rocks thrown there when the fields were first cleared - but the rocks are large and would normally have been used for walls or buildings, so this may be something else.

This is a geological rather than an archaeological feature, a rock, probably a gabbro, which has weathered to form a strange pattern.

Hughie's apportionment includes this waterfall on the Millburn, probably one of the best waterfalls on West Ardnamurchan but quite difficult to access as it lies in another steep-sided glen.

As can be seen from the photographs, our visit yesterday was on a miserably wet day, but almost exactly five years ago, on 19th December 2010, we climbed down into the glen.... look at an icefall.

1 comment:

  1. Picture five could be named brain rock.