Saturday, 3 June 2017


Ardmore Point, with its light, lies almost directly on the other side of the Sound of Mull from our house, so it often features in pictures of the ships which pass us. We've visited the light once but it wasn't until today....

....that we went to Mull and walked from Tobermory over the hill and down towards the coast where the light stands. Ardmore means great promontory, and refers to the fact that the point on which the light stands has to be rounded by ships passing up the Sound as they head towards Ardnamurchan Point, seen in the background of this photo.

On the land at the back of the promontory, by the side of a pretty little burn, there's a settlement, called Ardmore, which has been deserted. It has only reappeared since the extensive Forestry Commission woodland was felled.

Some of its history is immediately evident from the two houses that still stand, though they are roofless.

Both are gable ended and have square corners. The one on the right is the larger, and probably housed a farmer who, judging by the....

....extensive walled pens attached to the smaller building, farmed sheep. Just visible beyond the enclosures is a substantial wall, almost lost in bracken, which also helped to contain the sheep.

So this is probably an early 19th century sheep farm - but most of these were formed by the clearing of the pre-existing clachans, the traditional settlements that local people lived in for perhaps a thousand years.

Sure enough, a few minutes search revealed the typical low-walled, rounded cornered, hip-roofed ruins so typical of clachan buildings. Ardmore, therefore, along with nearby ruined Rairaig and Penalbanach, joins the list of clachans cleared to make way for sheep farms.

1 comment:

  1. To learn more about the final days of the croft at Ardmore, read "The Canoe Boys" the story of two young men who canoed from the Clyde to Skye in the early 1930's . They waited there for several days until the weather eased, allowing them to paddle on north round Ardnamurchan point.