MHG51313 - Enclosure and settlement at Clais Bhreac, Ardtornish


Three buildings within an enclosed field are depicted on a plan of 1815. This appears to have been a peripheral settlement of Achranich to the west.

Type and Period (3)

  • SETTLEMENT (Occupied, 19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1841 AD? (between))
  • ENCLOSURE (Constructed, 19th Century - 1801 AD? to 1815 AD? (at some time))
  • CULTIVATION REMAINS? (19th Century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

By the 14th century the lands at Clais Bhreac were part of the property of Achranich, and by the late 14th century at least were the property of the Macleans of Duart. Clais Bhreac, under the name of le Claschebreke, is specifically named in a charter dated 1496 granting lands in Morvern to Lachlan Makgilleone, the natural son of Hector Makgilleone of Dowarde. In 1730, Clais Bhreac and Acranich, together with neighbouring Srath Shuardail, are among a number of properties specified in the sale of the "lands of Kinlochallan" by Angus Maclean of Kinlochaline to Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope. The lands changed hands again several times over the next century. Further information can be found in <1>.

The first evidence for settlement at Clais Bhreac is found on Alexander Langland's 1815 "Plan of the lands of Achranich…". Three buildings are situated within an enclosed field on the west bank of Allt na Claise Brice. The depiction of the field as "outfield", in contrast to the arable shown at Srath Shuardail, prompted Gaskell to suggest that the settlement had been recently abandoned (1968, 18, 141). Neither the field nor the buildings were recorded by the Ordnance Survey in 1872, 1897 or 1973 but the turf dyke, which enclosed the field, is still extant on either side of the present track and the dilapidated remains of two buildings are still visible. <2>

A natural level terrace lies at the north side of the enclosure within the head dyke. It is defined on the north side by a boundary dyke and by steep slopes on the other three sides. The vegetation on the terrace consists of herb-rich grass and bracken, contrasting with the surrounding molinia (moor-grass). It is possible that this level area was once used for cultivation. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)



Grid reference Centred NM 72915 47333 (189m by 410m) (Estimated from sources)
Map sheet NM74NW
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (0)

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