Taigh MhicCoiseim (The McCosham House)This is the ruin of Taigh MhicCoiseim: a one room house with a small byre, surrounded by an enclosed kailyard. It sits outside the dyke around the East Township. This could mean that when the McCosham family arrived they were seen as outsiders, not part of the Auchindrain community.
The nearest township to Auchindrain was Killean, two miles away. Around 1790 it was taken over by a new owner, Colonel Campbell. It is thought that about a year later he ‘cleared’ some of his tenants to make space for a large new house for himself, and that 13 of these displaced people were taken in at Auchindrain. Most moved on, but the McCoshams stayed until the 1860s.
The census data shows that in 1841 this house was occupied by Catherine McCosham and two children, whilst in 1851 the head of household was Donald McCosham, there with his wife Catherine and two children. The censuses of 1851 and 1861 describe Donald first as a farmer then later as a cottar. Its unlikely that he was a tenant, with a right to land within Auchindrain, but he may have been allowed some land to work by the tenants. To read more about the difference between tenants and cottars click here.
In 1861, Donald and Catherine were living in the West Township with their daughter Flora. Donald was then 83 years old. This house was being occupied by Alexander Campbell, a fisherman, and his family. Both the McCosham and Campbell families had left the Township by 1871, and we think that this house was abandoned.
[caption id="attachment_23279" align="alignnone" width="800"] The ruin of Taig MhicCoiseiim.[/caption]