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Date 12 April 2012

Event ID 918931

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Note


This subdivision takes in the W half of Muck and is defined on the N, S and W by the coastline and on the E by the W of the two boundaries marked on the 1809 plan of the island. This boundary runs NW from the coast at Port an t-Seilich as far as the present house and farmstead at Gallanach (NM48SW 4) and is annotated as ‘March betwixt Gallananch and Ballmeanach’. From its S end, it can be followed on the ground as a turf and stone bank running along the floor of the glen and cutting through a large area of boggy ground. Its line then becomes more intermittent and appears to be reused by the enclosure boundaries shown on the 1809 plan, before then disappearing in the improved fields of the modern farm.

Two settlements are also shown on this plan, the first comprising a group of five buildings and two enclosures lying to either side of a burn in an area that now falls within the enclosed pasture fields of Gallanach farm (see NM48SW 16). The second is a group of six buildings and an enclosure above an area of wet ground immediately SW of the boundary and township at Balmeanach (see NM47NW 49 NM 41149 79812). These too lie within the fields of the farm, and no trace of them is now visible.

Outwith the enclosed fields of the present farm, large swathes of lazy bed cultivation can be seen, extending S along the ridge to Fionn-aird, N along the peninsula Aird nan Uan, and tailing off to the W at Gleann Mhairtein. Here the ground is higher and less fertile, and may have been used as common grazing for all the townships until the beginning of the 19th century. The W end of the island is the only area where small huts have been recorded in any number, lending further weight to the seasonal use of this ground as a shieling. According to MacEwen, cheviot sheep were introduced to the island in the latter half of the 19th century when the farm at Gallanach was rented out to three brothers, farmers from the Borders by the name of Thorburn. The current edition of the OS 1:10,000 map shows a sheepfold and sheep dip in Gleann Mhairtein, though nothing is shown at this location on the 1st edition.

Information from RCAHMS (ARG) 12 April 2012

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