Tag Archives: Tor Alvie

Finding the Kinrara Bobbin Mill

by Ann Wakeling (NOSAS)

A long time ago Meryl Marshall sent me a picture of some old wooden sheds which might have been workshops, and some houses, situated in scattered birch woodland. The caption had ‘Kinrara Bobbin Mill’, did I know where it was?

bobbin mill1

Checking the HER (MHG 23895) produced a Bobbin Mill with a grid ref NH 8700 0800, on Kinrara Estate. This is the intersection of grid lines meaning the site should be somewhere in that kilometer square. Most of the square is taken up by Tor Alvie, a steep sided hill, not very promising for an industrial site, the low ground is occupied by Kinrara House, which has been there since about 1804, and has well established pine woods.


OS 1:50000 Kinrara

A look at the First Edition reminded me that the area now known as Inshriach was formerly known as ‘South Kinrara’. The map (1871) shows South Kinrara, and a little to the east of it is ‘Bobbin mill’ . It has gone by the time of the second edition in 1903. I tried the O.S. Name Books, and failed to find the Bobbin Mill, Alvie is scattered over several volumes, mixed up with the surrounding parishes. I did find its next door neighbour though, South Kinrara Farm. “A farm house with numerous offices attached, the former thatched & in good repair the latter partly slated, partly thatched and also in good repair. Property of McIntosh of McIntosh.”

O.S. 1st Edition 1871

O.S. 1st Edition 1871

O.S. 2nd Edition 1903

O.S. 2nd Edition 1903

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Highland Hillforts

by Meryl Marshall (NOSAS)

The Atlas of Hillforts in Britain and Ireland project

Hillforts are one of the most prominent types of prehistoric monument seen across many parts of Britain and Ireland, and this hillfort project has recently been set up with the aim of producing a paper atlas and an online searchable atlas linked to Google Earth. It is a collaborative four year project between the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh, and contributions from members of the public, either as individuals or as part of local field groups, are welcome.

Several members of NOSAS were interested in this project and a field day took place in May which nine attended. We visited three forts in the Drumnadrochit area which James McComas had suggested. The day was a great success even though the weather didn’t exactly co-operate and the overall impression was “damp” to say the least! The three forts of Dun Scriben, Craig Mony (Craigmonie) and An Torr were very different from each other – we took photos, made rough sketches and filled in the (reputedly) tortuous form provided on the website. The form proved to be not as formidable as we had anticipated and has been submitted to Strat Halliday who is the Scottish and Irish end of the project. If any members are interested in participating in the project or in joining the next NOSAS field day please contact Meryl Marshall.

More information about the project is available on the website

http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/hillforts-atlas.html

The form to fill in is available at

http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/files/hillforts/survey%20pro-forma%20web%20final%20v2.pdf

and notes and guidelines are at

http://www.arch.ox.ac.uk/files/hillforts/survey%20notes%20for%20guidance%20web%20final%20v2.pdf

Producing drawings of hillforts

A drawing or sketch of a site, even if it is not precisely to scale, gives so much more information than a written description. Ideally it would be good to produce a plane-table drawing but this is not always a convenient method as it is time consuming and involves carrying heavy equipment to remote and inaccessible places. So when doing the recent surveys at Drumnadrochit we experimented with several methods of survey: using tape and offset, pacing and GPS waymarks. A draft sketch on permatrace was produced but, as usual, it was a bit messy – the words “dog’s breakfast” came to mind! A tidy final drawing was needed, so using a further piece of permatrace and a 4H pencil, I traced the site using hachuring as per RCAHMS guidelines, with annotations to clarify some of the features; I then scanned the result, see sketch of Craig Mony Fort. For me this method of drawing up is new and I have not perfected the technique yet, but Ian Parker of RCAHMS was helpful in giving advice and suggestions, and also his own drawing below.

Craig Mony Fort Meryl Marshall

Craig Mony, Drumnadrochit, by Meryl Marshall

Craig Mony, Drumnadrochit, by Ian Parker

Craig Mony, Drumnadrochit, by Ian Parker

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