MHG11334 - Township and Farmstead, Eadar A' Chalda


No summary available.

Type and Period (3)

  • TOWNSHIP (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FARMSTEAD (18th Century to 19th Century - 1701 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TACKSMANS HOUSE (Built, 18th Century to Unknown - 1775 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Some 8 unnamed buildings shown.
Home's Survey of Assynt 1774-5. <1>

Six rectangular or subrectangular buildings remain, five surviving as footings on average 0.5m high, and the sixth, 12m by 5m survives to wall head for much of its length, this being 1.9m high along the flanks. This building is mortared and possibly post-dates the footings. Extensive lengths of field walls stretch to NE and E.
Visited by OS (JB) 12 August 1980.

A township comprising two unroofed buildings, one enclosure and a length of possible head-dyke, is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1879, sheet lxxi). Five unroofed buildings, one enclosure and a similar length of wall are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10,560 map (1967).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 21 September 1995

Surveyed by the Assynt's Hidden Lives project in December 2009.
119A - A head-dyke with associated dykes and enclosing a meadow area. Consists of a curvilinear, truncated earth and stone dyke up to 0.6m high and 2m wide at the north edge of the site. At the north end of the dyke is a 3m diameter, 0.5m high grass covered stone clearance cairn.
119B - An uneven rubble building measuring 3m by 3m and up to 0.4m in height with 1m thick walls that are very badly slumped. It is situated in a corner of the head-dyke and enclosure of 119C. There is a possible entrance on the south elevation and an associated 2m diameter clearance cairn 2m to the south.
119C - An uneven rubble building measuring 9.5m by 3m and up to 0.5m in height, aligned E-W with 0.6m wide walls. It has an associated enclosure to the N/NE with the north wall of the building acting as the south wall of the enclosure. The enclosure walls are very spread and up to 1m wide in places; dimensions are 27m by 22m, aligned N-S.
119D - The most completely preserved building in the township. An uneven stone rubble building with patches of lime render, 11m by 4m and 3.5m to the gable top. An adjoining secondary compartment only survives as low ruins 6m by 3.5m and up to 0.4m in height, attached onto the E end of the building. Lime mortar with large inclusions is present throughout the structure. There is a window, a blocked window (with a large chamfer on the interior) and a door on the south elevation. The internal west gable has an obvious chimney flue which is showing through the wall due to areas of collapse. There is also a window on each gable end and a slanted arrow slot-type feature on the north elevation.
119E - Uneven stone rubble building remains 11.5m by 4m and up to 1m high, aligned N/S with 0.75m wide walls. The building sits within the head-dyke, which forms its N wall. An entrance is clear on the E elevation.
119F - Uneven stone rubble building remains 7.5m by 5m and up to 0.6m high, aligned WNW/ESE. The walls are 0.7m wide and an entrance is clear on the SW elevation.
All of these structures are built predominantly with limestone, sub-angular random rubble averaging 0.3m x 0.4m x 0.15m but using some larger stones up to 1m by 0.4m by 0.4m (especially on 119E). The stones tend to be roughly brought to course with pinning and chocking stones. <2>

Surveyed as part of a wider Scotland's Rural Past project by Historic Assynt. Research by Historic Assynt shows that this complex of buildings formed the main farmstead of a small single tack, created in the mid-18th century, although some structures may pre-date this date. The remains of up to ten possible structures cluster around two enclosures (B4 and C1) on one of the wider terraces in the limestone close to the old main road along the Loch.

A substantial lime mortared, masonry house, in parts surviving to eaves height with gable walls surviving to a higher level is the new house, built c.1775, occupied by Alexander Mackenzie. It sits within a series of enclosures, with a garden or kale yard laid out in front of it.

The old house, a substantial, rectangular, dry-stone building surviving to three or four courses, lies to the north. It was possibly occupied by a subtenant of the township of Achmore, overlying an even earlier substantial byre house which could therefore date back to the late 17th or early 18th centuries. This structure could have continued as a house for a labourer or been turned into a barn or some other outbuilding after the building of the new house.
An almost rectangular enclosure sits to the south-east of both the new and the old house.

The farm seems to have been created in the mid 18th century as a small single tack held for a time by Robert Gray of Creich and then from the mid 1770’s by Alexander Mackenzie in whose time a new house was built c 1775. Mackenzie also introduced sheep to the farm. Earlier the lands were part of the township known as either Achmore or Ardvreck, and in 1812 it was again incorporated into Achmore, although the former tacksman’s house remained in use until 1819. The ruins of both Calda House and Ardvreck Castle lay within the farm’s boundaries but have not been included in this survey. The population list for 1774 lists 13 inhabitants which had reduced to 9 in 1811 and in 1819 the last resident was cleared. Home’s map of 1774 shows a cluster of four structures around an enclosure, a further two buildings to the SE and one or two buildings around a small enclosure to the NW. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 2434 2382 (100m by 100m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC22SW
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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