Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Glendrian Circuit

The forecast today had been for a gale but the northwesterly never got above a stiff breeze so, with some fine weather promised, we set out to do a circuit of Glendrian, the crofting township abandoned in the early 1940s.

This satellite photo, courtesy Bing Maps, shows that our walk took us across the exposed centre of the  Ardnamurchan Tertiary volcano.

Leaving the car on the Achnaha side of Creag an Airgid, we followed the Estate fence to the steel kissing gate on the track to Glendrian and thence onto the brown, marshy area in the middle distance of this photo. The lumpy ben in the right distance is Sgurr nan Gobhar, that to its left Meall Clach an Darraich.

At the far side of the marsh, clearly visible on the satellite photo, is a grassy 'island' which, judging by the stone outline of an isolated house surrounded by lazy beds, was once worked as a small farm.

Having crossed the Allt Nead an Fhir-eoin we came across more field systems, ancient stone walls, and further signs of human habitation before....

....starting to climb into the hills that run along the northeast side of Glendrian township, from which we looked back to the 'island' (left, with the white houses of Achnaha beyond it) and across Glendrian Moss to the hills by Sanna, the highest being Meall Sanna.

From the hill to the north of the township we had views into the bowl of land which was once the community's worked land. Today the whole area is part of Ardnamurchan Estate and home to some of the Estate sheep, which keep the grass looking like a well-mown lawn.

We then followed the higher land around the eastern side of the township, from where the generations of different buildings can be clearly seen. The area in this photo is the site of the original clachan, which had a history going back possibly a thousand years until it was reorganised into a crofting township some time in the middle nineteenth century. The site is sufficiently important to have been designated a scheduled monument.

We again crossed the Allt Nead an Fhir-eoin, the burn that runs along the bottom of Glendrian's inbye land, at a point where it tumbles across a band of hard rock in a series of rapids and waterfalls before....

....making our way back to the Sanna road and the car.

A history of Glendrian is on the Ardnamurchan Heritage website here.
The circuit took us about two and a half hours.

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