Empty Eddies Barn – The Collection
Eddie’s Barn is one of four threshing barns in the township. It now houses a display of agricultural implements. When built, this was just a threshing barn, but was later extended at its north end to create a byre.
This enabled more cattle to be kept indoors over the winter than could be housed in the byre of the longhouse. The 1789 Plan shows nothing here, and the layout of the building suggests it was first built between 1800 and 1840. The 1890s photograph shows this building with a thatch roof, and it must have had a traditional cruck frame of timber. Like Martin’s Barn, the south end was hipped and the north end had a full-height stone gable wall which helped to keep the roof stable in high winds.
The building we have now is constructed of stone and lime mortar, with a modern-style roof covered in corrugated steel. Our general understanding of how the township evolved suggests that when this barn got its new steel roof early in the 20th century, the walls were rebuilt at the same time. Interestingly, however, they kept the old threshing barn arrangement of two doors opposite each other, even though by then this served no practical purpose.
At the south end of the building you can see a concrete slab. This is the remains of the only pigsty we know about within Auchindrain. An oral history account from Willie Weir tells us that close to the Cottar’s House there used to be a big tree with an iron ring set into its roots below a large branch. A rope through the ring and over the branch was used to lift up a pig after it had been killed, so that the blood could be collected to make black pudding. The remains of the tree are still lying, though the rings have gone.