Achnahannaid lies on the east coast of Skye on the road down to Braes. The survey was carried out in 2012 by some twenty ACFA volunteers.

The purpose was to determine whether there was any ecclesiastical connection with the township, as its name means the Field of the Church or perhaps the Field belonging to the Church. The church was possibly St Moluag’s which lies across the Sound on the Isle of Raasay.

Sadly no evidence either in the records or on the ground could be found to substantiate this theory.

The township, which appears on Blaeu’s map of 1640, was altered in 1810 by Lord Macdonald and laid out as eight crofts with an area of common grazing. It remains as such to the present day although only one man now crofts the township.

The survey using an EDM, produced an overall 1:1000 map of the area. Drawings of the individual structures were drawn at 1:100. Photographs were taken and detailed descriptions of the individual features were produced. Most of the structures were from 1810 onwards with the exception of a few remains lying in the common grazing. Some ninety features were recorded.

In addition to the field survey an extensive study was carried out in the various archives as to who owned which croft and when.

The findings were published as ACFA Occasional Paper No 121 in 2013.

Survey Directors John Macdonald & J. Scott Wood

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Mavis Valley

In conjunction with East Dunbartonshire’s commemoration of the centenary of a fatal fire in Cadder No 15 pit, ACFA carried out a survey of Mavis Valley, a mining village, which was home to six of the men who died.

The first houses were built around 1855 and the latest between 1900 and 1910.  The village was abandoned to squatters in the late 1940′s and finally demolished in 1955.  Later the site was used, and subsequently abandoned, as a tree nursery which made the survey particularly difficult, but we were able to identify some of the oldest houses and locate the position of the local co-operative society’s shop.

One group of houses was better built with a slate damp-proof course and decorative brickwork.  Behind them were steps up a bank to a raised area, possibly a drying green.  The bricks used for the latest houses were from several brickworks suggesting different construction dates.

Further work may be undertaken at another deserted mining village, Lochfaulds, and there is a possibility of excavation on one or more of these sites in collaboration with Glasgow Museums Outreach programme.


Survey Director: Carol Primrose

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High Morlaggan

High MorlagganACFA members contribute to other projects one of which is the Hidden Heritage project based on the area between Tarbet and Arrochar. 

This high profile community excavation has been organised by The Morlaggan Trust with Sue Furness and Fiona Jackson and with the assistance and supervision of professional archaeologists, Heather James, Claire Ellis and Roddy Regan.

The site, on the north-east shore of Loch Long and first recorded in the McFarlane manuscripts in AD1514 and consistently occupied until its abandonment by c.1916- is set in a a highly dramatic landscape of massive erratics, the visible ruins consisting of houses, enclosures and field systems.

An EDM survey of the site was carried out by ACFA members Ian Marshall and the late Bruce Henry.

The four week long excavations indicated the occupational complexity of use and interpretation which is now increasingly recognised in deserted settlement investigations.


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Bute Landscape Project

Please contact Sue Hothersall for further information.

Survey Director is Sue Hothersall

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Eaglesham Farm Project

After spending twenty years walking the farmlands of Eaglesham Parish, 17 Occasional Papers have been completed. The final paper concentrated on the central area of the village itself the ‘Orry’ and its cotton mill. These were enjoyable years and many friendships were formed with the local farmers. We trudged through rain, hailstorms and sleet but we also spent days under glorious sunshine. Features surveyed took in all periods from the Bronze Age through to the Post Modern. Burnt mounds, Bronze Age cairns, Bronze/Iron age enclosures, deserted ruinous steadings, industrial buildings through to the present day were among features found and surveyed. The initial reason for field-walking, and ultimately surveying many sites in the parish, was to record features on the land before they disappeared due to their proximity to the south side of Glasgow and encroaching development. Over the years the South Orbital Road has been built through part of the farmlands, bridges and buildings have disappeared and fortunately these have been recorded before their demise. The Occasional Papers record details of the earliest cartographic evidence, historical and genealogical evidence from the Poll Tax Rolls of 1695 and old farm Rental Records etc. Many of the farmers allowed us to use old family photographs showing farming practices and machinery used in earlier times. We are now attempting to bring this information together in a book bringing out the most interesting accounts of our fieldwork.


The survey was completed in 2011 with a final survey of The Orry including the cotton mill site. 

The survey directors are Susan and Robin Hunter.


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