Taisbeanach – Ard na Blathaich
Chuir clas 6/7 o Bhunsgoil Thaigh a’Chladaich crioch air an topaic aca mun eachdraidh ionadail le taisbeanach san oifis Coiltearachd Gleann a’Bhrandaidh o chionn ghoirid.
Sandbank Primary’s GM6/7 ended their topic on local history by setting up an exhibition in the Glenbranter Visitor Centre and Forestry Offices.
Their work will stay there for the duration of the summer holidays before returning to the school in August. The pupils researched an old abandoned settlement named Ard na Blathaich on the shores of Loch Eck. First of all they carried out some field work, measuring and recording the site; which they then compared to the professional survey carried out by Dr David Dorren and Nina Henry a couple of years previously.
The settlement consists of two sets of buildings, Lower and Upper Ardnablathaich, with field systems, a corn kiln and a knocking stone (for milling grain). All surrounded by forestry plantation nowadays.
After that they visited the Sandbank Resource Library and worked with Eleanor McKay, the local studies officer, on more than one occasion where we learned to look up sasines (land records), census materials, parish records and court records. We found out a lot of information going back to the 1600s concerning who owned the land or lived and farmed there. We read about some cattle rustlers – convicted of stealing from their neighbours and hiding the beef and salted hides on the settlement. We traced some family trees showing names of children born in one of the houses there and this led to the Clark family from Colintraive sending us a lot of information about that family and how they were connected to the days of the drovers.
They also pointed us in the direction of the Dewar manuscripts (Gaelic folklore of the area from the 1800s) and a story of a woman from the farm being kidnapped by a man from the other side of the loch and imprisoned in a cave for 7 years before her husband found out where she was and came to rescue her!
All the information (and our wall hanging entitled – The Croft) can be seen at Glenbranter throughout July. After that, a booklet will be printed out and given to Sandbank Resource Library to add to their documents on local history.