Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Picture of a Highland Village

This photograph, taken as the March snows melted, shows most of the houses in the village of Kilchoan, population 105. It was taken from the slopes of Tom na Moine (the knoll of the moor), looking southeastwards.

In the foreground are the croft fields of the township of Ormsaigbeg, running in strips from the common grazing at the back, on which we were standing, to the shore. Most crofts have their house almost on the road, with the more fertile fields in front.

The buildings in the middle of the picture are clustered round the village's only shop, The Ferry Stores. To the right of the shop is the public jetty giving boating access to Kilchoan Bay.

The next five crofts past the shop form the township of Ormsaigmore, while all the houses beyond are in Kilchoan township. The only road out of the village, a 45-mile run to Corran ferry, mainly along single-track roads, leaves between the hill to the left and the pine-covered hill on the horizon. A few days before this picture was taken, the road was closed by snow.

The only other access to the village is by ferry from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull. The houses below the mountain to the right, Ben Hiant (the blessed mountain), line the road that leads to the CalMac pier.

The area is shown on this map, the arrow marking where the photographer stood.


  1. The Photos are lovely of Kilchoan with the snow on the peaks.

    We really like your blog and it is a great way for so many people to keep in touch.

    Ormsaigmore has been mentioned before in the blog and you were pondering over why it was called big and ormsaigbeg small.
    It is actually is fairly big.

    There are 2 crofts in Ormsaigmore, one apportionment and a lot of Common grazing.
    One is Grianan and the other is Millburn.

    There are 4 CROFT HOUSES on ormsaigmore.
    Grianan, Lochan Goram, The Anchorage and Millburn.

    If you are standing on the shore at the jetty looking up, Ormsaigmore is the land you see between the dyke at Mairi hunters and the Mill burn.
    The stone dyke between mairi hunters and Grianan is the boundery on the left handside. It goes right up the back past Justins , widens out and skirts the bottom of the ormsaibeg hills, goes in between the Glen Lochs and right back to the Sonachan border at one point then goes in a Narrow strip all the way to Garridal and the Grigadale Border.
    On the right handside from the jetty looking up the Mill burn is the boundery all the way to the fire station, crosses the road at the other side of the bridge, takes in the new cemetry and meets Sonachan Border. the achnaha hill is the other border.
    This is presumably why it is called OrmsaigMORE...... because it is a large area of land in comparison OrmsaigBEG.

    A croft is a bare bit of land.

    If there is a house on a croft it is called a
    croft house.

    A croft is NOT a house !!!!!! ........... as most crofters will have ranted to many non crofters many times in their lives ! :-)

  2. Helen Ferguson14 May 2010 at 02:01

    wasn't meaning to make it anonymous, just pressed the wrong arrow thingy !