MHG54534 - Skye, Claigan


No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • SHEEP DIP (Undated)
  • SHEEP FOLD (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

RCAHMS Canmore description:
This sheepfold, known locally as a fank, is situated on a slight W facing slope 70m above sea level. It lies on the line of an old head dyke and is just above the present day hill fence, on the boundary between Sgeir hill ground and Glen hill ground.

The original fank is L-shaped, with dry-stone walls built of roughly shaped boulders, measuring up to 1.2m high and 1m wide. It comprises a large pen or holding area to the SW (25m x 25.5m) and four smaller pens to the E (21m x 4m, 18m x 4.5m, 18m x 5.8m, 21m x 9m), with a working area between them (13.2m x 2.6m). A large fenced area to the NW is a later addition and this forms a second large holding area (25m x 22m). The overall dimensions of the fank, including this area, are 220m x 240m.

The large pen in the SW was subdivided with corrugated iron fencing to give a shedder and smaller holding areas for sheep coming through the shedder.

Around 1923, a dipper was added on the E side of the fenced holding area, and a lade dug from a burn above to provide water for the dipper. The dipper measured 6m x 0.6m with steps out at the N end, leading to two dripping pens measuring 13m x 3.5m overall. A crogging or catching pen at the S end, measuring approx 5.5m x 3.5m, served the dipper and was also used as a catching pen at shearing time. The crogger had the job of catching sheep in the crogging pen and keeping the shearers supplied with sheep.

Six shearing stools were built into the S wall of this area immediately below the crogging pen. Three were built of wood and three of stone and turf, each measuring 1.8m long and 0.8m wide. The shearers sat astride the stools, with their backs to the wall and a sheep on its back between their knees, sometimes with its feet tied. The stone and turf stools are still in-situ.

The fank was built by Donald MacLeod, tacksman in Claigan, between 1824 and 1834, the stones used coming from the dun situated 10m above (NG25SW 34): “Donald MacLeod outgoing in 1834 paid melioration for sheep fank already built, tup park wall being built, house and garden wall, all improvements made by Donald MacLeod” (MacLeod Estate Papers Vol.2; Sect. 2/295, letter of offer for Claigan by Donald MacAskill). It was used for all sheep management work from the 1830s until the 1970s. The total number of sheep on Claigan in 1926 was 1678.
Information from Marjorie MacInnes, August 2010. <1>

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference NG 2371 5399 (point) Approximate. Point generated from 2011 NMRS download data
Map sheet NG25SW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish DUIRINISH

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