The Hill and the Heather OLDYou are now following the well-worn route from the heart of the township to part of the outrun. The cattle spent much of the cold winter months in the byre, where they added warmth to the house – as well as noise and smells! Hay, straw and turnips grown in summer as winter cattle feed was stretched out by allowing them out to graze in the daytime.
[caption id="attachment_21748" align="alignnone" width="723"] The Head Dyke at the edge of The Heather[/caption]
In front of you up the hill, you will see a gap in a stone wall. On the other side of this a small surviving area of the township’s outrun lies within the museum. The rest, once around 1100 acres, was sold for forestry in 1967. The Township’s inbye land was historically separated from the outrun by an animal-proof wall of turf and stone known as a head dyke – a characteristic and defining township feature. A short length of the head dyke lies within the museum – the wall with the gap is part of it, and a longer section of it running below the ridge of Creag Mhor can be seen if you look in the other direction and north up the hill.
[caption id="attachment_21749" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The fank, or sheepfold, highlighted on the 1871 map.[/caption]
The people of Auchindrain called the outrun to the south – up the hill and beyond from where you are now – ‘The Heather’. On the other side of the glen, the area beyond the head dyke was called ‘The Hill’. Running up to ‘The Hill’ through the inbye land to the north is the Peat Road. This lead to the township’s original peat diggings, and to the fank, a large stone sheepfold used when the flock had to be gathered together for counting, dipping or clipping. A twenty minute walk up the hill will take you to the fank, where there is a fantastic view over the hills to Loch Fyne.