Northlight Heritage was commissioned by Clan Macfarlane Worldwide to undertake a walkover survey of Arrochar parish, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, in the spring of 2016 in order to shed light on the history and archaeology of their traditional clan territory. The survey was undertaken by members of the local community, the Association of Certificated Field Archaeologists (ACFA) and students from the University of Glasgow and was led by Northlight Heritage.
A total of 88 sites were identified, the majority of which were new. The new sites were rapidly recorded and included 22 single house/barn/byre sites, 21 single shielings or groups of shielings, 9 farmsteads consisting of groups of more than one structure, four earth or stone banks, three possible mills, three building platforms, three clearance cairns, two enclosures, two concrete platforms, two kilns, two bridges, two knocking stones and two sheepfolds. Earth banks and areas of rig and furrow were common features in the landscape but were generally not recorded unless they were associated with a structure.
The most significant discoveries included a possible 16th century almshouse built by a Macfarlane clan chief on the banks of Loch Lomond (Site 28) and three probably 18th century farmsteads. Two of these farmsteads were in Glen Douglas and have been identified as Greitn
Site 18) and Gartanfearn (Site 22). A farmstead at the N end of Loch Lomond was identified as Tighfurl (Site 58). The remains of a possible 18th century mill at Camas nan Clais (Site 44/46) were also discovered. An excavation of one of these sites is planned for the spring of 2017.
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Clan MacFarlane Worldwide
1st April, 2016
MacFarlane Family and Friends
Clan MacFarlane Worldwide is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that’s committed to connecting the living representatives of Clan MacFarlane with their heritage. We endeavour to discover, document, preserve, and share the History of Clan MacFarlane with all descendants and friends.
It’s with great pleasure we ask for your support in this year’s archaeological project. Enclosed you will find additional information explaining the objectives and scope of the project. We are asking that you consider a donation of $100 or whatever amount you feel is appropriate. All donations are tax deductible and will be used explicitly for the stated purpose. Receipts will be provided for your records.
Clan MacFarlane Worldwide relies on the generous donations of it’s members to fund these projects. Donors will be recognized in the project’s final report and publication Loch Sloy!.
I thank you for your consideration of our request and look forward to your participation in the project.
CLAN MACFARLANE RUINS ON FOUR LOCH LOMOND ISLANDS
Presented here is a major revision of the earlier articles found on pages 45-52 in Loch Sloy! magazine, March 2013. This is now considerably updated with new information and references. (P F McFarlin, June, 2015)
The 1200’s and 1300’s LENNOX CHARTERS gave feudal land ownership to the
The early Mormears (stewards) were under the Scottish kings and were settled more or less in their fiefdoms by the 1000-1100's. The Kingdom of Strathclyde came to an end in 1018 and that fiefdom passed to Duncan, grandson of King Malcolm II. The central Scottish area controlled by the 1st Lennox Mormear, Murdac (b1050), encompassed all the lands surrounding Loch Lomond, including from Loch Long across to Loch Katrine and all the lands south to the River Clyde. Alwyn (b1125), Murdac's gr grandson, became the 1st Earl of Lennox and then two of his grandsons Malduin, 3rd Lennox Earl, and Gilchrist, 1st Baron of Arrochar. Malduin apportioned various tracts of lands to his sons and relatives. He granted to his brother Gilchrist as follows:
First Charter - About 1225 in a deed written in Latin and then translated, Malduin 3rd Earl of Lennox granted to his brother Gilchrist 1st Baron of the House of Arrochar the; "...terras de superiori Arrochar de Luss..." translated as; "land of upper Arrochar of Luss”. Apparently an ‘arrochar’ was a portion of land, possibly meaning high land or land on the East, or a ploughgate. This has been estimated to be 31,000 acres which encompassed the north and western area of Loch Lomond.
Another description of this early charter adds; " ...cum insulis de Elanvow, Elanvanow, Elanouglas, et Elaig," meaning; "with islands of Elan Vow, Elan Vanow, Elan Uglas (i.e. dark) and Elaig" (Douglas, 1798, p 93). This original charter has been lost and there are only later references and associations to it. So here, by about 1225, MacFarlane's four Loch Lomond islands were first identified by name. However, this description of the islands by sir Robert Douglas (prior to his death in 1770) may have been taken from the later Charter of 1354.
Clan MacFarlane Survey and Excavation Project 2016
For hundreds of years our ancestors called the area between Loch Long and Loch Lomond home. A simple drive through the area teases at their existence as some of the old ruins are still visible. If one were to stop and take a deeper look, one that goes below the surface, a fuller story of our ancestors begins to appear.
As with all things, time has taken its toll and has covered their labors and accomplishments. We want to rediscover what time has hidden and history has forgot. To accomplish this, we have teamed up with Northlight Heritage, a well respected archaeological group, to survey and document several important Clan MacFarlane sites. The 2016 season will culminate with a dig on the most promising site. This project will literally unearth our history and provide more information to our incomplete past.
The Black Village (Stuckievoulich) Tarbet, overlooking Loch Lomond (©Sue Furness)
HIDDEN HERITAGE ENTRY ABOUT TARBET ISLE
This notice was kindly sent from Hidden Heritage (http://hiddenheritage.org.uk/explore/tarbet-isle/ ) to PFM by Fiona Jackson. Thank you Fiona for the connection!
Tarbet Isle lies in Loch Lomond, within a few hundred metres of the shore at Tarbet. It is also known locally as 'Honeymoon Island', because of the tale that newlyweds were sent to spend a week on the island - if they were still on good terms at the end of the week, it was deemed a sign that the marriage would be successful!
Arrochar and Tarbet are steeped in Macfarlane heritage,