Saturday, 4 June 2016

More Stone Walls

I struggle at times to comprehend the gut-busting hard work that was put in to building the many stone walls which cross western Ardnamurchan, and feel that, in trying to understand a little about them, I am paying some small tribute to those who spent so many, many hours building them.

Some walls keep their secrets, like this one, which runs down to the north coast a little to the east of Plocaig. But others are a little more easy to date, if not understand.

This wall runs roughly parallel to the south coast from Mingary Castle eastwards to the lower slopes of Ben Hiant. It's seen here where it crosses the Allt Choire Mhuilinn which runs from right to left in the glen in the middle distance.

It's later than 1806, the date when William Bald drew his beautiful maps of the Ardnamurchan Estate - this map courtesy the Estate. Had it been there, it would have run from just north of the castle and across to the north of the clachan of Choiremhuilinn or Corivouline, as Bald spelt it.

Sadly, it's likely that the wall was built using the stones from the buildings of the clachan of Choiremhuilinn, which was sited in the hollow towards the centre of this picture.

What isn't at all clear is why the wall was built at such cost of labour. The land between it and the sea is fairly good but not exceptional and, as can be seen from the strand of wire that has been added, it's not high enough to contain determined red deer.

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