Church Road, Arrochar, Argyll and Bute CONTENTS Church Road, Arrochar, Argyll and Bute Firat Archaeological

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  • Church Road, Arrochar, Argyll and Bute

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    CONTENTS PAGE Frontispiece: 19th century view of Inverioch House Figure 1. Site Location Plan 2 Introduction 3 Map Evidence Figure 2: Pont’s map of c. 1590 and Charles Ross’s map of 1777 4 Figure 3. First Edition OS Map of 1860 and Third Edition OS map of 1914 5 Discussion of Map Evidence 6 Background Information on the Parish of Arrochar and Clan MacFarlane 7 Arrochar House 9 The Field Evaluation 10 Introduction 10 Figure 4. Site Plan showing trench locations 12 Trench 1 13 Trench 2 13 Figure 5: Photograph of Trench 1 as excavated 16 Figure 6: Photograph of Trench 2 as excavated 16 Trench 3 17 Trench 4 17 Figure 7: Photograph of Trench 3 as excavated 19 Figure 8: Photograph of Trench 4 as excavated 19 Trench 5 20 Trench 6 21 Figure 9: Photograph of Trench 5 as excavated 23 Figure 10: Photograph of Trench 6 as excavated 23 Trench 7 24 Trench 8 25 Figure 11: Photograph of Trench 7 as excavated 26 Figure 12: Photograph of Trench 8 as excavated 26 Trench 9 27 Trench 10 27 Figure 13: Photograph of Trench 9 as excavated 28 Figure 14: Photograph of Trench 10 as excavated 28 Trench 11 29 Trench 12 30 Figure 15: Photograph of Trench 11 as excavated 31 Figure 16: Photograph of Trench 12 as excavated 31 Trench 13 32 Feature 1 33 Feature 2 33 The Burn 33 Figure 17: Photograph of Trench 13 as excavated 34 Figure 18: Photograph of inscription above the main door of the Cobbler Hotel 34 Summary and Conclusions 35 Recommendations 36 Acknowledgements 36 Report Distribution 36 Contents and Location of the Archive 36 Discovery and Excavation in Scotland entry 37 Bibliography 38 Archive Material 41

    - Drawings List 41 - Photograph Lists 41

    Contact Addresses 43

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    Introduction Luss Estates Company and JGA Paterson and Sons propose building eleven houses in a development to be known as The Orchard at an area of woodland located on Church Road Arrochar, Argyll and Bute at NGR NN 2974 0385 (centred). The site is within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The West of Scotland Archaeology Service (WoSAS) advised that an archaeological evaluation of the site be carried out in advance of the determination of the planning application and recommended that 5% of the site area was investigated by trial trenching. An archaeological issue was identified at the site due to its proximity to the Cobbler Hotel (formerly called Arrochar House), which was the seat of the Chief of Clan MacFarlane. Arrochar House was built in c. 1869 when it is known that the MacFarlane’s former residence, Inverioch House, was dismantled. Inverioch House was the principal MacFarlane residence and home of the clan chief in the 17th century and Inverioch House is believed to have been built in 1697 on the site of an earlier house or castle. The exact location of the earlier houses is uncertain. However, it is recorded that Inverioch House was systematically dismantled and the new house, Arrochar House, was built in 1869. It may be that Inverioch House lies under the site of the Cobbler Hotel and it is unlikely that the building stone of the earlier house was transported any great distance for reuse in the new mansion. This report provides some background information on the MacFarlanes and their residences and reports on the results of the archaeological evaluation of the Church Road site.

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    Figure 2.

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    Figure 3.

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    Discussion of Map Evidence The map evidence for the development site indicates that it has been open ground until the late 19th or early 20th century. The earliest map available is Pont’s map of c. 1590. Pont’s map shows a house identified as Innerriach at the Pt of Errawharr (Arrochar) and confirms that the seat of the MacFarlanes at Inverioch was in existence by the late 16th century. This map is not detailed enough to plot exactly where Inverioch House was but the shape of the shoreline indicates that Innerriach is in the approximate location of the Cobbler Hotel The next available map is Charles Ross’s Map of the County of Dunbartonshire dated 1777. This map is quite detailed and shows the military road built by Caufield from Dumbarton to Inverary and shows a large house named as New Tarbart at the site of the Cobbler Hotel. Again the map is not as detailed as the modern OS maps but the line of the shore and the position of the road indicates that the big house is in the same location as shown on Pont's map of 1590. There is no indication of any outbuildings or gardens other than woodland, which appears to be formally planted in the vicinity of the house. The First Edition Ordnance Survey map of 1860 is much more detailed and clearly shows Arrochar House identified as an hotel. The line of the burn and the driveway down to Arrochar House on the N side of the burn is clearly shown with the gateway from Church Road. The area of the proposed development is shown as blank and undeveloped suggesting it was open pasture. Only a row of trees along the NW side of the plot at the rear of the hotel is shown and this map clearly shows that there were no buildings or gardens or ruins on the plot. The identification of Arrochar House strongly suggests that it is the site of Inverioch House. The next available map is the 1914 Ordnance Survey. The Second Edition Ordnance Survey map of the 1890s was not available for consultation. The 1914 map shows the burn and driveway to Arrochar House as shown on the 1860 OS map and shows a walled enclosure on the development site. This rectangular enclosure is shown as enclosed by a wall with an L shaped structure located in the E corner with two additional rooms shown on the outside (E) side of the enclosure wall. A fence is shown running NW-SE across the walled enclosure dividing it into two and the W half is shown as planted with trees strongly suggesting an orchard. The E half of the enclosure is shown as empty space suggesting grass or perhaps a garden. However, we know from a local source that the L shaped buildings n the corner were pigsties and it is therefore most likely that this was the field for the pigs. At the SW corner of the enclosure wall a curved wall is shown linking to the rear of Arrochar House suggesting that the driveway for Arrochar House may have continued along the S side of the enclosure although no driveway is actually shown on the map but a footpath is shown as extending for part of the length of the S side of the enclosure. The archaeological assessment of the site suggests that a track or path did run along the S side of the walled enclosure linking the back of Arrochar House to Church Road. In summary the map evidence suggests that the area of the proposed development was not enclosed until the late 19th – early 20th century. The maps also indicate that the Cobbler Hotel is probably built on the site of Inverioch House and that it did not extend into the proposed development area.

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    Background Information on Arrochar and the MacFarlanes

    First Statistical Account of Arrochar Parish 1791 by Reverend John Gillespie In 1791 the population was 379 people and the main occupations after subsistence farming were repairing the military roads with the soldiers, building dykes, manufacturing timber and barks or herring fishing. Peat was the main fuel with those living on Loch Long using coal brought from Glasgow. At Loch Lomond there was a large oak wood which was coppiced every 20 to 24 years so that only a few standards remained. Both English and Gaelic were spoken with Gaelic prevalent. The MacFarlanes whose “ferocity was a prominent feature of their character” had resisted the breakdown of the clan system but by 1791 were described as “civil, well bred, honest and industrious”, perhaps with some exaggeration. Second Statistical Account of Arrochar Parish, 1839 by Reverend Peter Proudfoot There was 14 miles of coast along Loch Lomond and Tarbet Isle, Inveruglas Isle and Ellan Vhow were considered part of the parish. White hares and ptarmigan lived on Ben Vorlich and Loch Lomond provided a variety of fish. Several sheep farms raised excellent quality stock. Several years ago a plague of caterpillars had destroyed the foliage of the oak woods. The parish belonged almost entirely to Luss Estate and the population had increased to 560 largely as a result of smaller farms having been established. John McMurrich owned the small estate of Stukgoun (Stuckgowan) and he paid the private schoolmaster's annual salary.


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