One afternoon, Morag and I decided to take a bit of a walk over to the other side of Doune Head, the headland being where the ancient prehistoric Dun or settlement had once been. Over that side there’s plenty more evidence of the old Doune, with ruins of cottages, overgrown field boundaries, and the lazybeds I mentioned last time.
You can see the boundaries quite clearly in both these pictures; cultivation plots in the one above and a ruined cottage in the one on the right. It is the best preserved cottage in the area, I think.
There’s also the old corn kiln, which I have photographed before, where the inhabitants of 17th/18th/19th century Doune would dry their grain before grinding it for flour or maybe for making beer. It is about 8 feet in diameter, about 2 feet high, and would have had a fire lit within the circle of stones, beneath a large dish-like object on which the grain would be spread. You do have to use your imagination a bit but the heather is growing on top of the circular walls and the dark hole would have been where the fire was stoked.
The land is very boggy so I expect the “Dounies” of old would have dug some drainage ditches. It’s also not very good land – you can see the amount of rock around - but the plots would have been built up and fertilised with seaweed, over many years.
Further on, and still near the shore is the stone-built sheepfold or fank, in Scots – from a Gaelic word – where the ‘post-1852 clearance’ sheep would have been gathered in at certain times during the year. You’ll probably have to enlarge this picture to see the outer wall of the fold on the left. It comprised a holding area from where the sheep could be separated into two smaller areas, and a narrow run that would allow the separated sheep to run out of the fank at the far end.
Well, the sheep are all gone now too. We didn’t see any around the Doune area. It’s a bit ironic!
From there we came down to the stony beach with its tiny bit of sand to look at rock pools - and look for stones, in my case! We met Marge on her solitary walk and all headed back to the lodge together, me lagging behind as usual to take photos.
the Cuillins over the Sound and beyond Sleat
Ron in the sea at the beach in front of the lodge!
Talk again soon.