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Clyne Heritage Society to hold guided walk and illustrated talk as part of Highland Archeology Festival

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The Clyne Heritage Society is running two events as part of the Highland Archeology Festival 2022, which begins this weekend.

Guided walk around Ledoch

The society’s first contribution to the festival is a guided walk on Sunday (September 25) around the cleared township of Ledoch/Leadoch in Strath Brora.

Leading the walk will be society chairman and local historian Dr. Nick Lindsay, who has 25 years’ experience in leading archaeological and historical walks.

They said: “Participants will be amazed to discover what lies on the now abandoned hills of the parish of Clyne.”

Located on the south-west side of the loch, Ledoch was cleared during the latter stages of the infamous Sutherland Clearances in the early 19th century.

“If you know where to look, a much earlier landscape spanning around 4,000 years can be seen, including Bronze/Iron Age hut circles, Clearance cairns, burnt mounds and the remains of a broch,” said Dr. Lindsay. “Following the Clearances, a fish hatchery was established by the Sutherland Estate there.”

An abandoned, small pre-Clearance dwelling above Ledoch in Strath Brora.

He added: “And the scenery overlooking Loch Brora is stunning too.”

Anyone interested in going on the walk should meet at Brora Heritage Center at 10.30am. In the event of bad weather, the event will take place the following Sunday (October 2).

The one-and-a-half mile walk is mainly over rough ground with a rise of around 40m (150ft), but is suitable for all ages, although a reasonable level of fitness is required.

Dr. Lindsay said: “Good boots are a necessity. Dogs are welcome but their owners should be aware that there can be adders around.”

Illustrated talk

The society’s second contribution to the festival is an illustrated talk by Dr Lindsay at Brora Community Center on Thursday, October 13.

He will be talking about the findings made at the society’s archaeological excavation of a longhouse at Greeanan, Strath Brora, in June.

Forty-two volunteer diggers spent 142-person days on site, the majority of whom had never taken part in a dig before.

Volunteer diggers at Clyne Heritage Society's excavation earlier this year at Greeanan, Strath Brora.
Volunteer diggers at Clyne Heritage Society’s excavation earlier this year at Greeanan, Strath Brora.
A drone image of the site of Clyne Heritage Society's archaeological dig at Greeanan, Strath Brora.
A drone image of the site of Clyne Heritage Society’s archaeological dig at Greeanan, Strath Brora.

Some of the most amazing finds, including a beautiful carved bone spoon, tiny items of jewellery, fine pottery and a slate stylus, were made by these first-timers.

PICTURES: Veteran archaeologist wowed by bone spoon found at ‘archaeologically outstanding’ Strath Brora dig

Clyne Heritage Society dig to start at Strath Brora site where infamous parish minister lived

From the historical records, among the dwelling’s inhabitants was the Rev. Walter Ross, Minister of the parish of Clyne from 1776 to his death in 1825. It was his one and only appointment.

Dr. Lindsay said: “There are various stories, mostly unfavorable, about him, one of which being that he was more interested in animal husbandry and agrarian practices than preaching.

“He took a tack at Greeanan, and spent summer months there, preaching to the local population and ignoring his flock nearer Brora!

“He knew, and helped, Donald Sage, of Kildonan, and is mentioned more than once in his Memorabilia Domestica book, notoriously for his assistance in hiding smuggled spirits in his church.

“Later inhabitants of Greeanan were newlyweds 79-year-old John Mathieson and 27-year-old Isabella Baillie.

For further information on these two events or on the Clyne Heritage Society, email: [email protected]

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