Auchindrain Township | Martin’s House (exterior OLD)
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Martin’s House (exterior OLD)

Martin’s House (exterior OLD)

This is one of six longhouses in the township, where people, cattle and horses lived under the same roof. Uniquely amongst these buildings, it has a now-roofless peat shed attached to its eastern end. It is named for Martin Munro, who lived here from his birth in 1858 until he retired and moved away in 1917. No-one has lived here since then. A house was named after the head of household and when it became unoccupied its name did not change.

[caption id="attachment_21808" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Martin's House from the 1890s photograph - the roof of the house end has its new covering of 'iron sheets' Martin’s House from the 1890s photograph – the roof of the house end has its new covering of ‘iron sheets’[/caption]

The house was built sometimes between 1800 and 1840, on the site of an earlier house shown on the 1789 plan but at right-angles to this building. When new, the interior was one single space: the byre at the east end was separated from the living space by a timber screen. The fire was in the middle of the living space and the smoke found its way out through the thatch roof. In the 1860s it was modernised. A new stone wall between the byre and the house end included a fireplace and chimney, and the west gable was rebuilt with a fireplace and chimney as well.
In 1893, this was the first building in Auchindrain to get a corrugated steel roof. The Duke of Argyll had heard that Martin Munro was planning to re-roof his house, and was afraid he would do so using “tar paper” – roofing felt. The Duke did not think this would look nice, so Martin Munro was given enough money for him to use “iron sheets” instead. The 1890s photograph shows the house itself under its new roof, although the byre and peat shed were then still thatched. Within around thirty years, every building in the township had either been re-roofed with corrugated steel or had gone out of use.

[caption id="attachment_21809" align="alignnone" width="699"]The byre door in 1963 The byre door in 1963[/caption]

By the 1940s, the Kitchen and Closet area were being used as a byre for cattle, with a turnip chopper in what had been the Room. The byre had been converted into a stable for Eddie MacCallum’s working horses.

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