Sheilings

Where are the sheiling sites in Ardchattan ?

  • Above the Glen Salach / Bonawe road junction
  • Must be some on the side of Ben Lora ?
  • Above Barcaldine are several sites marked on the WOSAS maps
  • Around Coille Leitire by Loch Awe
Place names with Airigh were traditionally sheiling sites - and we have remarkably few of these.
Sheiling%20Ardchattan%20parish
Sheilings are the small dwellings that the women and children went and lived in, through the summer months, with the cattle in the early centuries, then more sheep in the latter parts up to the first decades of the 1800's.
It is likely that this way of living extended back into medieval times.
They might have been mostly a few rows of stone, with turf walls and heather roofs, that the men would have gone up before to fix up in the spring.
They would remain in the townships, to raise the crops, fix the buildings.
All the community would have been involved in cutting the peats.
The cattle, and sheep, needed to be away from the crop lands, and taking advantage of the grazing in the upper reaches of the hills around.
Each community would have had their regular sheiling shelters to go to, many might only be used for a few weeks, then move on to the next fresh grazing.
Once the livestock was temporarily hefted to that part of the ground, the young folk could go back and forth from the townships if necessary, but many of the women would stay up on the hill for the summer. The men would come up with supplies and take fresh milk down with them.
Sheep would lamb up on the hill, with stone twinning pens not uncommon in the sheiling groups.
Women would spin, make butter which would be chilled in the burn, or in a deep stone "well".
The peat cutting area could be close by too .. so some folk would be part of the community cutting and drying and carrying peat all summer long to keep themselves warm in the winter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shieling


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