Our Blog

 Here’s what we’ve been getting up to…

Sourcing Peat in Auchindrain

One of the only sources of comfort for the tenants of Auchindrain during the long, wet winter months was their fire, stoked with peats and kept burning all day and night. Historically Auchindrain has had two peat banks or diggings used for peat cutting, one to the north and one to the south. Unti
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Local Community History: School Absences

Absences from school have always caused disruption for teachers. Nowadays, lessons are much more individually tailored so having a child miss school does not usually cause a problem. In the days when our Auchindrain children attended Furnace Primary School it was a different matter though.
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New Acquisition of Historic Photos

We are delighted to share with you 21 recently donated digitised photographs of Duncan Munro and his family during their time at Auchindrain.   This family moved in to Auchindrain’s Building R in 1902, and were h
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Bones Found Within Barn Walls

In the winter of 2018 building K, The Bull & Wool House, was damaged during a storm and part of the south gable collapsed. Repairs were undertaken during the spring and summer of last year and included taking down the gable wall so that it could be rebuilt back up using the same stones. This
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Travellers' Storytelling and Their Links With Auchindrain

The Traveller community have never been much for possessions. Tradition, memory and a way of life embodying clear values are more important, with storytelling almost an artform. Perhaps the greatest Traveller storyteller ever, Duncan Williamson (1928-2007), came from Mid Argyll, and had strong li
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Bramble Jam for Daddy: A traveller’s childhood memory

In the late 1960s, Kathy Townsley and her family were staying near Markinch in the heart of Fife. This is her story. It was a beautiful summer’s day; I was nine or ten years old.  My older sister Neenie, who had recently got married, took me out to c
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Local History Notes

By Trustee, Prof Niall Logan Several of the buildings at Auchindrain were originally longhouses, or byre-dwellings, where the humans and animals shared the same roof and the same doorway; the cattle would live in the downhill end (for drainage), and the humans in the uphill
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The art of Making Rope

Everyone who works with museum collections has an area of interest that they’re particularly geeky about, and for our Assistant Curator, it’s rope made of natural materials. You can imagine her delight when she discovered that one of our archaeological finds from Auchindrain i
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Traveller's Ingenuity

International Museums Day is a chance to celebrate the fantastic museums and galleries across Scotland, sharing memories about what people love and miss the most within the collections. To celebrate this day, how we thought we’d share one of our most recent acquisitions with you; a Gypsy Tr
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Archeological Find at Eddie's Garden

  We admit it, this pi
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Local Community History: Scarlet Fever

We maybe think of this period of self-isolation and schools being shut as something no one has had to cope with before. Yet we know from the Log Books of Furnace School, where the children of Auchindrain were educated, that this is actually nothing new. We read
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Researching Family History

We have been looking into the Stewart, McPhail and MacIntyre families of Auchindrain, which included 100-year-old Margaret Stewart. Thanks to the help of some of you, we’ve been able to confirm that four generations of this extended family lived at Auchindrain, from the 1881 census right up
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Auchindrain People: Margaret Stewart

Born in April almost 220 years ago was Margaret Stewart, possibly Auchindrain’s longest living resident. Born in 1801, she had already lived a long life before coming here, having married in 1820 and become a widow in 1836. Margaret seems to have outlived not only her husband but also a lo
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Auchindrain People: The Munro Family

During the 1923 season, the shinty team from Furnace achieved a feat which had never been done before and has only recently been equalled – they won the Camanachd league without losing a goal in any round. Of the 12 players, three were from Auchindrain and these were Duncan Munro, Neil MacC
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Spongeware Pottery

One of the most common archaeological finds here at Auchindrain is spongewear, a type of pottery this is often Scottish in origin and usually dates from between 1835 to 1935. Ranging from plates to bowls to cups, this type of pottery is characterised by its plain background decorated with one or
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Gaelic in Auchindrain

In 2012, part of a much-thumbed Gaelic Bible was found in Eddie’s House at Auchindrain, tucked into a gap in the wall above the kitchen sink along with some sheets of newspaper from 1937. Maybe not the obvious thing to use to stop a draught, but out of respect for Holy Scripture the book co
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The Industrial Past of Auchindrain

This is a fantastic story that pushes our understanding of industrial Auchindrain back into the mid 18th century. In 1745, young Duncan Munro from Auchindrain joined the Argyll Militia commanded by the Duke of Argyll, and fought for the Hanoverian side. He distinguished himself
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