Abandoned village on Isle of Mull

 This morning, weather on Mull was cool and windy overlain with intermittent light rain.

As the conditions were just about tolerable for hiking we undertook a roiund-trip four hour adventure along little used tracks in the S.E of the island. This entailed traversing wet moorland landscapes which actually afforded good landscape views of nearby mountains and lochs.

Landscape view

We noted the hundreds of acres of rolling moorland appeared to be totally devoid of farm (e.g. sheep and cattle) animals or wild animals such as deer.

Note the 'tramlines' in the bottom half of following image. These appear to be remnants of 'rigg and furrow' farming methods of days past when families were allocated strips of land on a rotation basis for cultivation of crops.

Gates are no barrier!
 

 
Waterlogged trail


Our key 'find' of the day was abandoned or 'clearance' village in a remote spot. Mull is home to many such abandoned communities. Most of these probably relate to the period (c.1780-1860) when large tracts of the Scottish Highlands were 'cleared' of people to make way for sheep farming. 

 Overview of abandoned site

Village remains with mountain in background.

This appears to be an abandoned house.

Wild primroses at the village site


The people 'cleared' from the land were mainly tenant farmers living a subsistence lifestyle with virtually no rights or protections. Many found there way into factories in Britain whilst others emigrated to places like North America and Australasia.

Judging by the state of the buildings' preservation I would guess the village was one of the later ones to be cleared. Walking around abandoned communities such as this, speculating on how they lived and where they went is quite a profound experience.We plan to visit another such village site tomorrow.

 

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