Auchindrain Township | Matilda Agace
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Author:Matilda Agace

About Auchindrain

[intro]  A township has existed here from before the 16th century. Over time much has changed at Auchindrain. The inhabitants adapted the way they lived and worked to suit the needs of the day. Using a range of historical sources, we've pieced together the story of...

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Partners, Children and Population Control

[intro] When Queen Victoria journeyed through the Highlands in 1873, she described the inhabitants of Auchindrain as “very exclusive…hardly ever marry[ing] out of their own village”. This was not true – in fact, there was a system of marriage between local communities that produced genetic...

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Building Q: Townships

[intro] In its simplest and earliest form, a township was home to a small group of families who lived on and farmed a portion of the land under the control of their clan chief. Their inhabitants lived collectively - the land and livestock were held...

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1890s Photograph

The 1890s photograph is a panoramic view looking north to south across the township, taken from the hillside behind Eddie’s House in about 1895.  It shows almost all of the buildings, giving us a lot of detailed information about the landscape and farming at the...

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Washing at Auchindrain

Water from the burn was collected in buckets and brought up to the wash-house, to fill the cut down barrels.  It would have been heated in buckets or pots over kitchen (or even open) fires. Clothes were placed in the barrel and “tramped” (treaded with...

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Meel and Créis

Créis is the Gaelic word for fat. It is pronounced ‘creesh’. Meel and créis can be made using the dripping from a roast dinner, although traditionally it was made with fat rendered down from suet (the fat from around an animal’s kidneys). People living on farms...

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Food Glorious Food

The diet at Auchindrain consisted mainly of dairy, oats, and potatoes, all of which were grown here. We are close to the sea here, and fish and seafood like crab, mussels and salmon would all have been eaten. The people of the township would have eaten...

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Spinning and Weaving

As you entered Bell’s House, you’ll have seen a loom opposite the door. Making cloth was one way that people could contribute to the township, but weaving by hand on a small ‘home’ loom like this was time-consuming work. Before weaving, the wool was spun into...

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Skinning a Rabbit and Plucking a Fowl.

Today we usually buy our meat ready to cook. In the past, the people of Auchindrain would have done everything - killing, plucking and skinning - themselves. They kept hens, and would have hunted for pigeons, rabbits and hares. Skinning a rabbit is quite a simple...

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Paper Flowers

[intro] On the windowsill, you should be able to see a vase filled with paper flowers. Now fresh flowers are available all year round, but this wasn’t the case in the past. Instead, artificial flowers were used to decorate houses.  In the homes of the wealthy,...

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