MHG32788 - Sleeper Building - Boat of Garten


A building built of railway sleepers.

Type and Period (1)

  • BUILDING (19th Century to 20th Century - 1801 AD to 2000 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

A 'Sleeper' built wooden building, 150m north of road from Deshar School to Boat of Garten, situated near un-named lochan. This was a 'sleeper' house - the bolt marks of the plates to hold nails can be seen ion the picture of the interior. Corrugated iron roof has been stripped off (blown away?), turves exposed and falling down to the ground. Site photographed by A Wakeling. The Highland Archaeology Challenge. 10/2003.
J Aitken : 27/01/04

The building is located outside the village of Boat of Garten, between the A95 and the road into the village (Deshar Road, previously called School Road), close by a seasonal lochan which was named Lochan More on a map dated 1809. It is situated in the grounds of The Glebe Farm which is rented from the Seafield Estate.

It must date after the arrival of the railway in Boat of Garten (1863). The OS map dated 1867 shows a sawmill near the current site but no other buildings. By the time of the 2nd edition map dated 1903, there is evidence of other buildings near the sawmill and an OS Pathfinder map of 1982 still shows these buildings. This map no longer shows any evidence of the sawmill.

There were originally 2 buildings at the site. One had a red corrugated iron roof, and the other had a black one. Both are now collapsed. In the 1940s, one was occupied by the Higginbottom's, and the gate into the houses was known locally as Higgle's gate. After the Higginbottom's, the house with the red roof was lived in by a Mr. Turnbull, brother to the butcher in the village. The house with the black roof was lived in by Mr. Grant, a local builder. When first recorded by Ann Wakeling in 1995, the building was in use as a cattle shelter.

The buildings have deteriorated since they were recorded by Ann Wakeling in 1995 and 2003. There are a few upright sleepers still standing. They show clear signs of where base plates were used to anchor the rail into the sleeper - this construction was not required when harder woods were used, which indicates that the sleepers used in this building were a softwood. The timbers which are horizontal, and could have formed part of the floor foundation, also include at least one tree trunk. The corrugated tin roof has collapsed but is still at the site.

This building is one of a number of 'sleeper' buildings built from railway sleepers, or on railway sleeper foundations, in Boat of Garten and Badenoch and Strathspey. See Jackie Wilson's report for the ARCH Community Timeline course, 2011. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 9325 1920 (10m by 8m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH91NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

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External Links (1)

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