Understanding AuchindrainYou are just starting out on a tour of the township. We will tell you some of what we know about this very special place and others like it. We have used lots of sources to help us understand Auchindrain. Some are so important that we come back to them time and time again. We’ll start by showing you what they are.
Throughout the tour, we talk about ‘north, south, east and west’. Stand facing the old white building beside the car park: you are looking north. Turn around and look up the hill towards the trees: you are facing south. Look towards the gates where you came in – that is west. Turn and face the Visitor Centre: this is east.
The 1789 plan[caption id="attachment_21557" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The central area of the 1789 plan[/caption]
The 1789 plan was drawn by the land surveyor George Langlands for the Duke of Argyll in 1789. It was one of a number of similar plans, which set out proposals for the improvement of the Duke’s farms and townships to make them more profitable. Underneath the lines marking out Langlands’ suggestions for Auchindrain to be divided up into crofts, he sketched the buildings, fields, and landscape as it then was. This gives us a clear picture of what Auchindrain was like in the 18th century. These proposals were never implemented – if they had been, the township would not be here today.
The 1871 map[caption id="attachment_21559" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The 1871 map[/caption]
The 1871 map is the first edition of the Ordnance Survey – the government’s official mapping of the whole of the British Isles. It is drawn in very accurately in great detail, to a large scale. From this we can see how Auchindrain changed during the main period of agricultural improvement.
The 1890s photograph[caption id="attachment_21560" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The 1890s photograph[/caption]
The 1890s photograph is a panoramic view looking north to south across the township, taken from the hillside behind Eddie’s House in about 1895. It shows almost all of the buildings, giving us a lot of detailed information about the landscape and farming at the time.
The 1921 photograph[caption id="attachment_21561" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The 1921 photograph[/caption]
The 1921 photograph is from a picture postcard postmarked 1921. It is a panoramic view looking south to north across the township taken from the hillside near the Quarry. It shows different buildings from the 1890s photograph.
The 1946 Aerial Photograph.[caption id="attachment_21562" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Central Area of the 1946 Aerial Photograph[/caption]
The 1946 Aerial Photograph was taken after the end of the Second World War, by the Royal Air Force. A team of highly-trained pilots had been equipped with specialised planes for aerial reconnaissance work. While this team was being reduced in size in peacetime, the pilots were sent out to photograph Britain. This large-format, high-quality and extremely detailed image of Auchindrain was taken from directly overhead on a cloudless day at the end of the summer of 1946.
The census data is the information that has been recorded for Auchindrain in the government’s official census of the United Kingdom’s population. This has taken place every ten years since 1801. From 1841 it gives us full details of the names, ages and occupations of everyone living here, set out in sequence from house to house. Census data remains confidential for 100 years, so the most recent data we have is from 1911.
What these sources tell us has been supported by archaeology, detailed study of the township’s landscape and buildings, and the recorded memories of some of those who lived here.
You can listen to some of those memories here.