Auchindrain lies near Inverary in the Scottish Argyll and Bute – it´s only crofting township that has survived substantially unaltered and serves as a museum today. There used to be hundreds of these settlements in the Scottish Highlands before the Highland Clearances of the late 18th and 19th centuries.
The first documentation of Auchindrain dates from the early 16th hundred when it already seemed an established township, like thousands of others spread across Scotland. In 1776 the Duke of Argyll reacquired the township, an early enthusiast of agricultural improvements.
A plan was made in 1789, by the surveyor George Langlands, for the township to be rebuilt and reorganised into crofts as many of the other townships in were. In Auchindrain this was never implemented, possibly because the investment required would not have justified the financial return. (Wikipedia)
Queen Victoria visited the “primitive villages” of Auchindrain and Achnagoul in 1875 when she stayed at Inverary Castle.
The last inhabitants of Auchindrain moved out in the mid-1960s and shortly after The Auchindrain Trust built a visitor centre and opened the open air museum.
Traditional Scottish townships were based around low-quality hillside and mountain grazing land known as ‘outruns’. Near the houses was an infield, where crops like barley, oats, beans and peas were grown. The infield was divided into thin strips called rigs. One-third of the rigs were rotated between the tenants annually through the drawing of lots, which in theory allowed everyone an equal opportunity to farm productive land. (Britainexpress.com)
Visiting Audrichain is like stepping back in time. The museum is open daily from April to October and on most days during the winter season. Find more information on their website!