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Back Settlement

Farmhouse (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Back Settlement

Classification Farmhouse (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Leacnasgeir

Canmore ID 309234

Site Number NM95NE 15.04

NGR NM 97623 56833

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Lismore And Appin (Lochaber)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll


Reference (1 February 2009 - 1 August 2009)

Marine Chart, Ordnance Survey Maps, Donaldson photographs, owner's (syndicate) journal.

Field Visit (1 February 2009 - 1 August 2009)

Walking around and within the building: Photographs: Measured.

This small farmhouse has stone walls and square corners. The stones are mainly shore boulders. Lime mortar has been used. In the summer of 2010 three men spent a total of 30 hours repointing the front wall and applying lime mortar! It looks as if it was built after the arrival of the Age of Agricultural Improvement but exactly when it was built is uncetain. The tenant paid £42.1.0. as rent in 1841 which was higher than neighbouring farms and suggests that the house was built before that date. The census of 1851 tells us that this farm had 231 acres and four labourers but by 1860 it had become part of the North Cuil farm. The last occupant was a cottar and her relatives who disappear from the valuation rolls ater the 1908/09 year. Both the first (1875)and second (1897)edition OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire and Buteshire sheet xliii)show the house to be roofed. On Bedford's marine chart of 1861 it is called Leachnasgeir (sic) F(arm). When M.E.M. Donaldson visited the area for the first time about the end of the First World War she says in her book "Wanderings in the Western Highlands and Islands," published in 1921, that the house was roofed but vacant. By the time of her second visit the roof had been removed and the Ballachulish slates laid beside the house. By 1968 it had become a ruin. At this time two geologists leased the place. An aerial photograph on 11th June 1968 show the house (and steading) to be unroofed but the walls were repaired and the slate roof was put back in place. Most unfortunately the geologists were drowned in a boating tragedy at the end of Novedmber 1968 but other geologists formed a syndicate and bought the house and steading in 1978. It is now used as a holiday home by members of the syndicate and their friends.

It has a central door on the north-west, seaward wall with a window on each side. On the rear wall there is a small window. There does not appear to have been any attic. The original floor was earth at the south-west end and concrete at the other. There are chimneys in each gable with hearths internally. There is a small amount of plaster still on the short, south-west wall internally. There was a small outshot attached to the north-east wall and attached to this a small square structure about a metre across which may have been an outdoor oven. Behind the house and bordered by stone dykes there is a small enclosure.

There is only a poor water supply here from a small burn which does not reach the sea but ends in a bog!


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