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Arichonan Township

Township (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Arichonan Township

Classification Township (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 39175

Site Number NR79SE 23

NGR NR 7740 9120

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish North Knapdale
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NR79SE 23 774 912.

A township, comprising seven roofed, three partially roofed, three unroofed buildings and seven enclosures is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire 1873, sheet clx). Four unroofed buildings and seven enclosures are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1979).

Information from RCAHMS (AKK) 18 May 1999.

NR 77450 91240 Site included in a field survey carried out by GUARD in 2003.

Heather F James, 2003 (RCAHMS MS 2371, no.74)


Publication Account (2009)

The website text produced for Arichonan webpages on the Forest Heritage Scotland website (

Introduction: A place worth fighting for

The ruins of Arichonan still stand tall on the slopes of Gleann a Ghaolbhan. Here you can explore inside the homes of people who lived there over one hundred and fifty years ago and more. Evidence within the walls can tell us how these people lived and worked. Why not visit and see what you can discover?

The name Arichonan is known to date back as early as the 1600s. The lands of Arichonan were feued in 1654 by the Campbells of Auchenbreck to Neil MacNeil from South Knapdale. At the beginning of the 19th century it was bought by Neil Malcolm of Poltalloch, who, in 1848, evicted the people from Arichonan township.

Like many landlords at the time, he did this to replace the tenants and their small farms with a large-scale sheep run managed by the estate. Today, the ruins of the shepherd's house rise amongst the remnants of the homes abandoned after the evictions.

People Story: Resisting arrest

Tenants did not always leave quietly when landlords ordered their eviction. They did not want to lose their homes and livelihood and decided to fight.

In September 1848, Neil Malcolm ordered the eviction of his tenants from Arichonan. The local police arrested four tenants from Arichonan for resisting the eviction. It apparently got so out of hand that there were calls for the military to come to the aid of the police. A court found Catherine Campbell, Mary Adams, Neil McMillan and Duncan McLean guilty and imprisoned them at Inverary jail. The jail still holds the records of their imprisonment.

Many people in this area left Scotland to go to Canada and Australia. Some wanted a better life, others left because they had lost their homes and needed a new place to start again.

Neil Malcolm bought land in Australia in the hope of moving his unwanted tenants there but they refused to go. Considering their history, this seems unsurprising!

In 1849, the McLean family from Arichonan chose to move to Canada instead. They settled in Ekfrid Township in Middlesex County.


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