Expedition 109 - 3rd April 2004
Shielfoot


This was a wet day, but compared to the trip before it was a doddle, just enough rain to stop us getting too hot, but that didn't mean a lot of people failed to fall into puddles. Some of the regulars were away on holiday so we were down to nine explorers: Abbie, Alexandria, Allan, Amy, Benjamin, Eilish, Kerry, Sarah and Thomas; two adults: Chris and Pamela and Brucie and Stan as canine pathfinders.

We started from the last house in Shielfoot, which happened to be Amy's grannie's house and the explorers heard a bit about some of the people who used to live there in the olden days. Then we set off down the muddy path beside the river, stopping for a bit of shelter in the old fishermen's hut. It was fairly tricky crossing the wet rocks but we all managed this bit OK and then spent a long time at the old village.
We started at a house believed to have belonged to Alexander and Hugh Cameron where Alexander's wife had tragically died in 1856. Then we went all over the village trying to identify Archibald MacPherson, the tailor's house, which was supposed to have a flat stone in front of the door for him to sit on. We found a lot of houses, some with kailyards and byres attached and many having a tree beside them, or even in the old building.

Then we went to the top of the hill and looked around for a cairn but didn't find it. We did see a group of white rocks in the distance which Benjamin ran across to look at - it was an outcrop of quartz. After a short break we came down to the beach and look at a building which could have been the church and a line of store sheds. A little further on we found the old graveyard and above it was a fine corn kiln.
We finished the investigation with a walk along the beach to the island which we could get to because the tide was low. We saw old cultivation marks on it but couldn't find any birds' nests, although there were some strange stone groups on the beach. Alexandria couldn't make it to the island and stayed sitting on a rock.

Finally the group reassembled and walked and splashed quickly back to the cars and bikes.

John Dye

   


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