Auchindrain Township | Building W
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Building W

Building W

Auchindrain became a museum in the 1960s. This was the first building to be reconstructed, and was set up as a visitor centre. Today we use it as a site workshop and for storage.

Census data from the 1840s and 1850s indicates that Building W was in existence by this point. Most of the building was a roofless ruin by the 1940s, so we have used archaeological investigation, historical sources and old photographs to help us understand it.  It seems to have been built as a short terrace beside a road (running through what is now the car park), with a cobbled pavement along its front. The far eastern end of the building, beside the Visitor Centre, was added in the 1960s.

The part of the building which is now roofed is a longhouse.  We think that in the 1840s and 1850s this was home to a tenant called Archibald Sinclair.  Behind this section is a kailyard, shown as one area on the 1871 map but divided into two parts by the time of the 1897 Ordnance Survey.  The evidence suggests that the byre end of this longhouse (furthest from the visitor centre) may have been converted into a house.  In the late 19th century part or all of the longhouse was home to a man named George Mackenzie. He moved away in 1901, and we don’t know if the house was inhabited after this point. In the 1930s and 1940s it was used as a byre for cattle.

The western end of the building is a ruin, but the evidence shows that this was originally one, or possibly two, small houses. The big tree stump, which we are gradually removing, is what remains of an ash tree. The tree grew in the chimney of one of the small houses after it was abandoned, which was probably in the 1890s.

At the far western end of the building is the ruin of a one-room extension.  We think that this may have been added by Duncan McNicol when he moved here in the 1850s, to store his loom. Beyond the west end of the building are the sites of two small buildings, XX and YY, seen on the 1789 plan. No trace of them is now visible above the ground.

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