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Bute, St Ninian's Point

Cottage (Period Unassigned), Fish Curing Building (19-20th Century)

Site Name Bute, St Ninian's Point

Classification Cottage (Period Unassigned), Fish Curing Building (19-20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) The White House

Canmore ID 78647

Site Number NS06SW 22

NGR NS 03542 61230

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/78647

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NS06SW 22 03542 61230.

Recorded during survey of deserted settlements; records are held in the Bute Museum.

Sponsor: Bute Antiq Natur Hist Soc; St Andrews Heritage Services.

Hannah and Proudfoot 1994.

NS 0354 6126 Site 105 White House

Also known as the fish-curing house, most of the walls of this much altered early 19th century building still stand to eaves height. It was the first building on modern times on St Ninian’s Point.

Proudfoot and Hannah 2000

NS 0352 6132 Derelict building: Located on St Ninian's Point. There is the wall of a lime-mortared cottage built early 19th century and much altered. It is 2-celled with addition on N end. Once used as a creel store. A fireplace was formerly in N gable. It had several windows; some are now blocked in. There is a platform at NE corner and a small yard to NW. No record of occupation on promontory in 18th century.

Information from Bute Natural History Society Deserted Settlement Survey (1991-9)

(RCAHMS WP000273)

This cottage is situated on St Ninian's Point, 60m SE of St Ninian’s Chapel (NS06SW 4) and only a few metres W from a ruinous pier on the S side of a small inlet. Rectangular on plan, the cottage measures 14.4m from NNE to SSW by 4.65m transversely over walls that survive to wall-head height on the ESE and WNW, but have largely collapsed at both ends. The walls, which are of coursed rubble with some split boulders, are sneck-harled, and there is some evidence for the wall-heads having been raised. An outshot at the NNE end of the building extends its length by 2.9m and there may have also been an outshot attached to the SSW end. A roughly-built platform at the NE corner may have been a cart-loading area. The cottage may have been altered for fish-curing (Proudfoot and Hannah, 2000).

The cottage is depicted roofed on both the 1st and 2nd editions of OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire and Buteshire 1869 and 1897, Sheet CCIII), with a track leading towards two other cottages some 60m to the N. The contemporary Name Book (No.5, p.54) notes that there were 'three small cottages occupied by fisherman' on St Ninian's Point.

Visited by RCAHMS (GFG, JMH) 6 May 2009.

Activities

Field Visit (1863)

Field Visit (1991 - 1999)

Recorded during survey of deserted settlements; records are held in the Bute Museum.

Sponsor: Bute Antiq Natur Hist Soc; St Andrews Heritage Services.

Hannah and Proudfoot 1994.

NS 0354 6126 Site 105 White House

Also known as the fish-curing house, most of the walls of this much altered early 19th century building still stand to eaves height. It was the first building on modern times on St Ninian’s Point.

Proudfoot and Hannah 2000

NS 0352 6132 Derelict building: Located on St Ninian's Point. There is the wall of a lime-mortared cottage built early 19th century and much altered. It is 2-celled with addition on N end. Once used as a creel store. A fireplace was formerly in N gable. It had several windows; some are now blocked in. There is a platform at NE corner and a small yard to NW. No record of occupation on promontory in 18th century.

Information from Bute Natural History Society Deserted Settlement Survey (1991-9)

(RCAHMS WP000273)

Aerial Photography (1993)

Field Visit (December 2003)

Aerial Photography (6 February 2009)

Field Visit (6 May 2009)

This cottage is situated on St Ninian's Point, 60m SE of St Ninian’s Chapel (NS06SW 4) and only a few metres E from a ruinous pier on the S side of a small inlet (NS06SW 54). Rectangular on plan, the cottage measures 14.4m from NNE to SSW by 4.65m transversely over walls that survive to wall-head height on the ESE and WNW, but have largely collapsed at both ends. The walls, which are of coursed rubble with some split boulders, are sneck-harled, and there is some evidence for the wall-heads having been raised. An outshot at the NNE end of the building extends its length by 2.9m and there may have also been an outshot attached to the SSW end. A roughly-built platform at the NE corner may have been a cart-loading area. The cottage may have been altered for fish-curing (Proudfoot and Hannah, 2000).

The cottage is depicted roofed on both the 1st and 2nd editions of OS 6-inch map (Argyllshire and Buteshire 1869 and 1897, Sheet CCIII), with a track leading towards two other cottages some 60m to the N. The contemporary Name Book (No.5, p.54) notes that there were 'three small cottages occupied by fisherman' on St Ninian's Point.

Visited by RCAHMS (GFG, JMH) 6 May 2009.

Measured Survey (2009 - 2010)

A series of measured drawings undertaken as part of ACFA's CARES project.

Field Visit (2009 - 2010)

This building was one of three cottages built for fishermen on St Ninian’s Point in the early 19th century. The other two are still in residential use but this one was later adapted for use as a fish curing house or ‘kippering shed’. The following description of the building was written by Scott Wood who also prepared the drawings of the building:

The building lies on a low rocky peninsula known as St Ninian’s Point, just to the SE of the chapel site. With its high standing walls, 3.40m maximum, it is a dominant feature in the landscape. The building lies on a N to S axis and is 14.40m long by 4.20m wide with walls that are 0.70m thick. The building appears as a main structure 11.50m long with a small low extension at the N end. This extension is 2.90m long by the same width as the main building but with walls only 0.40m thick and standing to a maximum of 1.05m. Its walls simply abut the main building with no attempt having been made to bond the stonework. An entrance lies in the NE corner and there are traces of there having been windows in both the E and W walls. There is no evidence for a direct access through to the main building. On the N wall of the main building there is an angled cement edge, the remains of a seal at a roof junction.

The gables of the main structure are now largely missing. The N wall does not exist above the level of the walls to the extension, but because of the lower floor level in the main building the remains of the wall appear higher and there is much tumble. A niche is present 0.25m from the NW corner, 0.70m wide by 0.70m high, and recessed some 0.44m. There is no evidence for a fireplace and the flue has now gone. The S wall is mostly missing above ground level though on the W side a width of some 1.20m remains to a height sufficient to indicate that a gable once existed. The survival of the W side of this short end wall indicates the former existence of a central fireplace and flue producing a weakness which precipitated the collapse of the wall.

Amongst the stonework and residual rendering on the remaining section of the wall may be traces of a subtle change in the stonework starting from about 1.70m above the ground and angling at 30° towards the centre, suggesting that the wall has been raised. The long E and W walls appear largely intact to their full heights, which on the W side is 3.0m above ground level at the S end and due to rising ground is 2.35m high at the N end. A single window opening exists 1.50m from the NW corner and is 0.80m wide by 1.35m high. The wall displays evidence of vertical cracking at four points along its length, occurring at 5.0m, 6.40m, 7.40m and 8.90m from the N end. The wall also displays a change to the stonework in the upper 1.20m of its height which includes the curious use of some very large stones. The ends of the E wall are missing but a window and doorway are evident, the window 1.85m from the N end and the doorway 6.70m from the same point. The window opening is 0.65m wide by 1.33m high while the doorway is 1m wide and 1.85m high; the stone lintel has been removed. A 0.75m wide triangular shaped hole occurs in the wall at ground level, 2.30m from the S end. A similar band of large slabs also occurs in the construction of the upper part of this wall. Internally there is a remnant of a partition wall built of stone 0.50m thick and located 0.80m to the S of the door in the E wall. The W wall adjacent to the partition has suffered a collapse of the inner face, fully 2.0m long and 1.50m high. About 0.90m from the wall head is a pair of rounded steel plates, each projecting 40mm from the walls and having a 5mm diameter hole in them, opposite each other in the two walls. A most interesting photograph of the fish-curing house, still in use in 1915, can be found in David McDowall’s Bute (McDowall, 2010) on page 76.

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