MHG12240 - Township, Poll Tigh a' Charraigein


A pre-clearance settlement, cleared in 1806 to make way for large scale sheep farming.

Type and Period (1)

  • TOWNSHIP (Medieval to 19th Century - 1058 AD? to 1806 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC12NE 2 159 283

(Centred NC 1600 2830) Four buildings shown and named 'Town of Poltecamian' in 1774-5 (J Home 1774-5). Depopulated by 1878 when the area is named 'Poll Tigh a' Charraigein (OS 6"map, 1878).
J Home 1774-5; OS 6"map, Sutherland, 2nd ed., (1878) <1>

There remain the ruins of four buildings, one a subdivided dwelling, of dry-stone walling up to 3.0m high, and three smaller structures, possibly folds with some rounded corners, of dry-stone walling up to 1.5m high. Associated with the buildings are ruinous field walls and areas of cleared pasture land.
Visited by OS (R D L) 18 May 1962.

Poll Tigh a' Charraigein is generally as described above. The longhouse measures 14.5m by 4.5m and the smaller structures, which are more likely to have been dwellings or outhouses than folds, average 6.0m by 4.0m. Visited by OS (J B) 12 August 1980.

A township comprising two unroofed buildings is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Sutherland 1878, sheet lix). Four unroofed buildings, one of which has two compartments, are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10,000 map (1992).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 5 September 1995

Poll Tigh a'Charraigein was a satellite settlement of Achmore. It was occupied in 1774 by Ann MacCra, widow, with two children and two servants. She was possibly the widow of Duncan MacCra, listed in 1746 as a tenant in Achmore, which was subsequently cleared of tenants with the encouragement of the Sutherland Estate. Poll Tigh a'Charraigein was cleared in 1806 and a shepherd installed, Donald Rutherford and family.
During a walkover survey in February 2000 the township was seen to consist of three probable dwellings, a corn kiln and enclosures. The area of the settlement is very uneven ground, with dwellings placed on outcrops of higher ground. The lower ground between these is wet and rushy and may conceal other features. A full description of the features is available in the survey report (linked to this record).
The superior construction of the main dwelling house is probably an improvement made at the time of the installation of the shepherd. <2>

Poll Tigh Charraigein is very well sited in a S facing natural amphiteatre overlooking Loch Innis Thorcaill and with spectacular views to the mountains beyond. Home’s 1774 survey shows one roofed building within an enclosure and two other roofed buildings and list of inhabitants for the same year records ‘Ann MacRa’, a widow, two children and two servants living there. They were cleared in 1806 to make way for sheep and in 1811 a new house was provided for shepherd Donald Rutherford.

The outlines of the farmlands stand out green against the surrounding vegetation with the remnants of dykes and clearance cairns and the faint traces of enclosures. The 1811 house survives in remarkably good repair and there are the remains of three other structures in poor condition. Measured sketches were made of these structures and used as the basis for drawings. <3>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 15955 28251 (230m by 275m) (Centred)
Map sheet NC12NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish ASSYNT

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (3)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (1)

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