MHG24 - Township, Savary


Site of medieval township. Abandoned c.1861

Type and Period (1)

  • TOWNSHIP (OCCUPIED 1560; ABANDONED POST MEDIEVAL; , Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

An extensive group of buildings and enclosures, covering an area 150m N-S by 110m, is situated on gently-sloping ground above the Sound of Mull but sheltered from sea breezes by a small knoll to the S. The township was occupied at least by 1716, had a population of 83 in 1779 and was probably cleared between 1851 and 1861. The site was afforested in the 1940’s but the crop has since been harvested. The site was surveyed by Mr. Jonathon Wordsworth in February 1991, prior to the construction of a forest road along the N and E perimeter. It was revisited in 2004 though the remains are very overgrown with brambles and willow herb, in addition to a cover of post-harvesting brash; details of construction are difficult to distinguish.

The five buildings and two enclosures, recorded in 1875, are all extant with an additional eleven buildings, two enclosures and remains of a further two possible structures. Sites 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 may have been houses or outbuildings while the two small structures, 1 and 19 are interpreted as storehouses. (Wordsworth, 1991) Two further stone features, 11 and 12, may have been the fragmentary remains of structures. The houses are mostly between 8.50m and 10m long, though five measure between 12m and 13.50m in length. They are oriented E-W or NE-SW and are defined by low walls of drystone masonry, between 0.80m and 1m thick. Some degree of complexity is evident; House 10 (see 1991 survey plan) partly overlies an earlier house, 9, while the poor preservation of House 4 suggests an early date. (Wordsworth, 1991) The four enclosures around the perimeter of the site, Nos. 13, 20, 21 and 22, measure 26m N-S by 20m, 47m NE-SW by 23m, 20m NW-SE by 16m and 45m N-S by 24m respectively.

The forestry road, constructed after the survey plan was drawn in 1991, cuts through enclosures 22 and 13 and has destroyed house 14 and the possible structures 11 and 12.

A further site at NM 640 458, where six roofed buildings, including a “Corn and Barley Mill” (See SMR NM 64NW0026) were recorded on the OS 1st Ed. 6” Map, 1880, was not visited. Occupied by 1755, this may be part of Savary township and may have continued in use until the 1890’s.
Field Verification Project (West Lochaber) - J Robertson, 03/2004

Five unroofed buildings and two enclosures (centred on NM 639 463), and six roofed buildings, one of which is annotated as a Corn and Barley mill, and one enclosure (centred on NM 640 458) are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire, Island of Mull 1880, sheet lxx), but they are not shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1974).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 26 June 1998

Not visited.
Visited by OS (RL) 10 June 1970

Savary. There were the remains of 5 houses at NM 639 463, in an area now covered by forest. They were occupied by 1755, probably abandoned by 1861.
At NM 640 459 are the remains of a mill and 2 other buildings; 6 houses and the mill are shown on OS 6" map, Argyllshire 1872. Occupied by 1755, they were abandoned by 1890.
P Gaskell 1968

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NM 639 460 (253m by 411m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NM64NW
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

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