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
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
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
John Dye John Dye