Expedition 58 - 3rd February 2001
Shielfoot


Due to work and bad weather we didn't get an expedition during January so there was some enthusiasm for the first one of 2001. Many of the girls had been at a party and an early morning start in the rain was ruled out of the questioIt was the week before Christmas and very little was stirring: several of the team were rehearsing performances and others were away to the shops. We ended up with five explorers, plus Mairi. The team was: Aelish, David John, Iain, John Donaldson and Robert, plus Mairi.

At least the frost was out of the ground and the weather was not cold, but it was a wet and uncomfortable trip for most of us. We started outside the Sinclairs' house at Shielfoot and walked up the riverside path to the falls, stopping to examine again some of the writings on the door of the fishing hut, mostly done by bored fishermen waiting for the rain to stop.

We continued on until we reached the shore below old village. John pointed out the remains of a very old house not far above high tide mark. Further on was the outline of a larger building, possibly the one said to be a church, and a row of small buildings which might have been fishermen's huts. About a hundred yards to the north was the old graveyard, with several upright stones protruding from the remains of a large, possibly Bronze Age, cairn. Some of the cairn had been robbed to build a stone wall around the site and there was the outline of a building in the top of the cairn. Then we climbed the hill and found an old corn kiln high above the shore. We crossed an area of flat, fairly well-drained ground and made our way back to the old village, approaching it from above. the expedition was searching for two features: a cairn behind one of the houses and a large flat stone in front of one of the houses. We found a possible cairn and Iain and Robert spotted a possible flat stone, so we were fairly successful. On our only previous visit the weather had been better but the bracken was high and obscured much of the village.

The expedition stopped at a long house at the lower part of the village which had a prominent wall dividing it inside. He reckoned this was the old home of Alexander and Ann Cameron and everyone took a rest while he read out the account of Ann Cameron's death from some old court records.

Then we all were feeling rather cold so we walked briskly back to the car and moved to the centre of Shielfoot.
Leaving the car beside the old collapsed house the explorers made their way up the stream bed to the two crofts on top of the Torr. They moved all over the field and finished up exploring a little valley which included a cave which was examined by Aelish and John Donaldson. Finally we all got back to the car and, very cold by this time, back to the Centre for soup.

The Pictures
Robert attempted a rather scruffy sketch of the ruins of Alexander's croft an put into it all the people who were there the day before Ann Cameron died. David John showed one of the old windowless crofts with smoke coming out of the roof, lain did many sketches showing the fishing hut, a croft, Dr Howie (who featured in the story), Aelish in the cave, and one of the Tunnock's wafers. Mairi showed the corn kiln, surrounded by vegetation.
John Dye

John Dye

   




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