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Inverclyde

Summary

An SRP Inverclyde project has been created to investigate abandoned settlements around Inverclyde, focusing on farmsteads around Loch Thom and the Gryffe which were recorded in maps such as that of Timothy Pont who visited and recorded the area in the late 16th Century. It is hoped that by identifying these locations it will encourage members of the public to discover more about historic rural settlements in the area and in the longer term the data collected will help the future preservation and conservation of these rural sites.

Latitude: 55.9090
Longitude: -4.7757

There are no published photographs for this project.

Findings

Darneme Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Darneme Farmstead
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Map reference: NS 27497 71662 (Alt. 661ft.)

I located the foundations of a rectangular building, approx 8m x 4m, close to the Garvock Lodge area in July 07.
Previously unreported, this was probably the settlement known as Darneme, a farmstead which was near the south bank of the River Gryfe and can be found on Pont’s 16th C. maps. the settlement continued under that name until sometime after 1864 and the construction of the Gryfe reservoir and Garvock Lodge.

Only the rectangular outline of rough field stones remain, with much of the southern facing foundations missing and no sign of internal dividing walls
According to Roy's 1748 map, there was a second Darneme settlement, south of the original farm (This appears to be located on the site occupied today by Dowries farm).

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Matching the ordinance survey maps from 1864 and a later version, the name of the Darneme farmland was replaced with that of a new building called Garvock lodge, which was constructed nearby and is now itself a ruin.

I have been unable to confidently identify the meaning of Darneme although one interpretation could be “Friendly Plot”-
Darn may be Brythonic (p-celtic) meaning ‘a plot’ while Eme is an old endearing Scots term meaning uncle or familiar friend.

Burnhead Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Burnhead
Location: (NS 28715 72807).

Burnhead Farm sits at the head of a burn that skirts Corlic Hill (from which it get's the name). The settlement first appears in Roy’s 1748 map, (although it is unamed and probably much older).

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In 1748 Burnhead was recorded just north of Glenbrae Farm
The settlement can be seen in later maps under the name Burnhead and seems to have been abandoned sometime in the early half of the 20th century. (The rusting remains of a vintage car with 'Avon Tourist' tyres, lie close to one of the walls)

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Substantial ruins of Burnhead's two farm buildings can still be seen, much of it constucted with rough field stone, held together with lime cement.
The rectangular foundations of another large structure, possibly the farm's outbuilding, can be found nearby (NS 28683 72831)

"Old" Darndaff Farmstead

Apr 28 2008



The original Darndaff Farmstead (?)
Map reference: NS 2816 7151

Pont’s map of 1598 shows what is possibly the original site of the Darndaff farmstead, close to the Darneme site and on the south bank of what is now the Gryfe reservoir. (Opposite it's present location)

Map

In this area archaeologist Frank Newall discovered a medieval rectangular building which yielded fragments of a 14th - 15th century pitcher near to a settlement of Late Bronze Age - Early Iron Age huts. He also found two other medieval rectangular foundations, with associated lazy beds and turf walls

Visiting the site in 2007 I found that deep forestry ploughing has virtually obliterated the entire site and no building foundations seem to have survived intact. (No information was obtained concerning the pottery fragments noted by Newall, nor are their whereabouts known).

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The photograph was taken from the roadside close to the area identified by Newall.

I have been unable to confidently identify the meaning of Darndaff although one interpretation could be “Daff’s Plot”-
Darn may be Brythonic (p-celtic) meaning ‘a plot’ while Daff may have been the original occupier – (several Daff's are recorded in the Renfrewshire Hearth Tax of 1691). The settlement could have also taken it's name from the River Daff, (now part of the Daff Reservoir).

Lower Garvock - Craig Snout

Apr 28 2008

Lower Garvock - Craig Snout

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Lower Garvock
Map reference: NS 2561 7117

A 'working' farm until quite recently, Lower Garvock Farm has fallen into disrepair and the living quarters, damaged by fire, is now unroofed.

The farm is a perfect example of how farmers lived cheek by jowl with the livestock, with only a wooden door seperating the living quarters from the outbuildings. (In traditional longhouse farms, one side of the building was used as a shelter for the family while cattle occupied the other end)

Lower Garvock doesn’t appear on any maps in it’s present position until the 1800's - although Roy's map of 1748 does show a farmstead in the area called “Criag snout” , located between Water(side) Farm and Fallowhills (Hollowhills) Farm

The name "Craig Snout" may mean “pointed rock or cliff” probably referring to the small cliff-rock formation directly behind the farm.

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Craig Snout was probably demolished in the early 1800's and replaced by Lower Garvock which took it's name from the nearby ‘Upper’ Garvock, a settlement which is recorded on Pont’s 16th century and Roy's 18th century maps. It is situated further south at Mount Pisgah (NMRS NS27SE 98, Map reference NS2526 7044).

Garvock : “Rugged Place” From the gaelic Gairabh Cnoc – Rugged Hill or place.

Upper Garvock

Apr 28 2008

Upper Garvock
Map reference: NS 2526 7044

Garvock: “Rugged Place” probably took it’s name from the nearby Garvock Hill (Gairabh Cnoc – Rugged Hill or place).

This building was probably the original Garvock settlement which can be seen on Timothy Pont’s late 16th C map. (Pont names both the hill and the settlement 'Garouk')

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The site was visited in Aug 2007, but no sign of a building structures or foundations could be found due to forest plantation, although large stone blocks which probably belonged to the building are scattered around the forest floor.

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Part of the foundations of a possible enclosure wall were found in the area at NS 25213 70500 (Alt 830ft), approx 24m long with an adjoining wall approx 4 m

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In the 19thC the farmstead comprised of "one unroofed building and one roofed L-shaped building depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Renfrewshire 1857-64, sheet vi), but it is not shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1980)".
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 18 April 2000

The farmstead sits on a hill called 'Mount Pisgah', which was the name of the biblical mountain summit from where Moses viewed the promised land.

Hollowhills - Fallahills Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Hollowhills - Fallahills Settlement

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Hollowhills Farm
Map reference: NS 2595 7180

This site was recorded during a field survey of the area around Loch Thom and the Gryffe Reservoir by members of the Muirshiel Archaeological Group and a report was lodged with WoSAS and the NMRS. (I Hogg 1998)

Hollowhills settlement may have taken it’s name from the nearby chambered cairns around the Gryfe area which are sometimes referred to as "hollow hills". The settlement can be seen on Pont’s late 16C map but by the 1800’s it's name had been altered (or corrected) to 'Fallahills' - Falla is Gaelic for walls which could possibly make the name of the settlement 'walled hills' farm

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The farmstead was situated close to the Shaws/Rotten Burn and was eventually affected by the construction of Loch Thom. The landowner would have received compensation but nothing is known of the fate of the tenants who were displaced.

I visited the site in June 2007 using the co-ordinates supplied in the NMRS report, it was during a period of low water level, but no trace of the settlement could be found on the loch bed within the area recorded in the report - Some of the buildings close to the loch were demolished and removed and this may have been the case with the Hollowhills settlement....
(There are a line of stones and a few stones piles in the area which may possibly indicate where the house once stood).

Waterside Farm

Apr 28 2008

Waterside Farm

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Looking towards Waterside Farm and Loch Thom in the distance

Waterside Farm
Map Ref: NS 2514 7083

This farm was recorded in Roy's map of 1748 as 'Water' probably because of it's proximity to the Shaw River/Rotten Burn.
Later maps name the farm 'Waterside' and although the settlement was just outside the Loch Thom Reservoir, subsequent expansion of the Loch eventually resulted in the farm being abandoned.

Evidence of the settlement's location was recorded during a field survey by members of the Muirshiel Archaeological Group in 1998:
"NS 2511 7075 - NS 2516 7092 Site of Waterside Farm, two roads running uphill 2m wide and associated revetted walling.
A fuller report has been lodged with WoSAS and the NMRS".
(I Hogg 1998)

No remains of the farm structure or outline of it's foundations could be seen on my visit to the area in October 2007.

Corlick Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Corlick Farm

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Corlick Farm
Map reference: NS 2902 7264

"A ruin of what was formerly a farm steading.."
Name Book 1863

The farmstead annotated Corlick was first recorded in Roy's 1748 map. By the 19th century the farmstead "comprised of one unroofed building, one roofed building and two enclosures which were depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map" (Renfrewshire 1864, sheet ii).

It would seem that dispite it's condition the farm remained occupied for at some point a new section was added, at the back of the building, constructed of brick rather than the rough undressed field stone used throughout most of the structure.

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Sometime later, probably in the 1900's the farmstead was abandoned. A report in 1980 stated that "one unroofed building and two enclosures are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map".
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 14 April 2000

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Substantial ruins of the farm can still be seen along with some rusting pieces of machinery and the frame of a vintage motorcycle.

Garvock Lodge

Apr 28 2008

Garvock Lodge

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Garvock Lodge
Map reference: NS 2753 7164

I visited this site in July 07 which is on the south bank of the Gryfe
The OS maps of the late 19th century show Garvock Lodge as a large rectangular structure with a walled enclosure and possibly a small outbuilding, these were built in the area formerly occupied by Darnemes Farmstead sometime in the late 1800's after the construction of the reservoir.

No obvious lodge foundations could be determined, although a large concentration of building rubble, covering a wide area, could be seen outside the entrance of a substantial rectangular walled enclosure.

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The enclosure measures approx. 18m x 24m and is situated at NS 27554 71654 (Alt. 588ft.). The foundations of a small out-building, approx 5m x 5m, found at NS 27579 71627 (Alt. 566ft.) probably comes from the same period as the lodge.

Moorhouse Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Moorhouse

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Moorhouse
Map Ref: NS 23177 70948 (Alt. 378ft),

Moorhouse which probably took it's name from the surrounding landscape is situated within the shoreline of the Daff Reservoir.
I found traces of the foundations of a wall running north - south, close to a tributary running into the Daff. Normally this area would be underwater but the water level of the reservoir was very low allowing access to the site

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No obvious rectangular outline of a building could be traced but there was a scattering of building material made of field-stone rather than dressed masonry, which is more in keeping of a rural agricultural structure pre-1850's.

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The Moorhouse settlement does not appear in any of the major Renfrewshire maps up until it was recorded as a ruin in the mid-19th century. It is shown as a ruinous single building on the 1st edition of the OS maps, but by the 2nd edition, an enclosure and some walls had been added, and the site apparently, at least partially, in use as a sheepfold.

It's interesting that it continued to be annotated with the Moorhouse placename, as this may suggest that it was re-occupied.

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I also found this 'knocking stone' nearby which may be associated with the farm and was possibly being used as a mortar bowl to pound grain.


Lees Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Lees

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Lees Farm
Map reference: NS 28214 70470 (Alt; 788ft)

Lees farmstead was first recorded in Roy’s 1748 map and can be seen in a later 19th century map, east of Dowries farm (formerly one of the Darneme sites). By 1864 the settlement seems to have been abandoned as the only structure in the area occupied by Lees was by this time being used as a sheepfold. Eventually with the development of the Gryfe reservoir and the plantation of forestry, trees covered most of the site.

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I was able to access the site due to parts of the forest being cleared, locating the vestiges of a large enclosure and what may be the farm building attached to the south-east corner. No other structures could be found in the vicinity as much of the surrounding area has been disturbed by forestry ploughing or is still afforested.

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Rather than being a surname, the name 'Lees' probably means (The settlement at) the clearing, or pasture", which comes from lêa, "a wood, a clearing or pasture".

Rodgerstoun

Apr 28 2008

Rodgerstoun

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The site recorded by Pont in his 16thC map as Rodgerstoun is thought to be two small farm ruins on Colaouse Hill.



These ruins may be the location of 17th/18th-century hill farmsteads identified by Frank Newall in 1963. They were later located during the fourth year of a survey of the Loch Thom area undertaken in May and June 2000 (DES 1999, 62).
At NS 2613 7061 they found a Farmhouse; 8 x 4m, with main door on N-facing wall and nearby at NS 2636 7070 another Farmhouse; 6 x 4m, surrounded by dyke walls of in-bye fields.

In the report it was assumed to be Criagsnout Farm from Roy's map of the area but my study of the map would suggest that Craigsnout was closer to the Shaw River in the area now occupied by the Lower Garvock farm.
The report also suggests that "These two farms may have once been part of 'ferm toun' of Hodgeston". (I Hogg 2000).

The early maps do indicate that these ruins on Colaouse Hill may be the site of Rodgerstoun, a ferm toun named after an owner or occupier by the name of Rodgers.....
Alternatively the Lower Garvock site could be the location of Rodgerstoun, becoming Craig Snout in the 1700's and Lower Garvock in the 1800's and these two ruins are unnamed & unrecorded farmsteads.

I visited the area in July ’07, the first building was located by it’s rectangular outline of stones at NS 26101 70663 (Alt; 851ft)


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The second building was located by it’s rectangular outline at NS 26294 70717 (Alt; 719ft)


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Richstoun - Ferret o' Keith

Apr 28 2008

Ferret o' Keith - Richstoun
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Ferret Of Keith or Back O' The World - (Richstoun?)
Map reference: NS 2498 6990

Known today as Ferret of Keith or Back of the World, this farmstead may also have been called Richstoun in the 17th century, possibly taking it's name from an owner or occupier named Rich or Richard.

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Richstoun on 17thC map

The name ‘Ferret o’ Keith’ may be a corruption of ‘Forret’ which is depicted in Pont’s 16thC map of the area. (It has been suggested that the name Forret o' Keith means "moor-land of sheep-folds")

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Forret on 16thC map


The name of the farm was later changed to "Back of the World" and is depicted on Roy’s 1748 map.

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Back o' the World on 18thC map

By the 19thC, maps show the farmstead comprising of one unroofed building with two compartments, what may be a second unroofed building and one enclosure with a short length of wall attached, depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Ayrshire 1857, sheet iiA). One unroofed structure of two compartments is shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1987).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 9 March 2000

In Oct, 2007 I found the unroofed building with two compartments at NS 24969 69909
Two cup marked rocks, used as building material were found a few feet apart, within the ruined walls of the settlement, the larger of the two being used as a foundation stone for the corner of the building. A small shelter or hide constructed within the ruins seems to be fairly recent.

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A short length of wall running southwards connected the building to a second rectangular structure which was found nearby at NS 24969 69870. The foundations here appeared to be more overgrown and it could be that this is the older of the two.

Low Darndaff Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Low Darndaff

Type of Site: Building, Farmstead, Field System
Map reference: NS 281 721

This farmstead is one of three settlements in the Darndaff area in the 18thC and it can be seen on Roy’s 1748 map, it later became known as Low Darndaff in the 19thC.

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The farmstead comprising three unroofed buildings, a field-system and a separate unroofed building (NS 2829 7203) are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Renfrewshire 1857-64, sheet vi). One unroofed building and the fragmentary remains of the field-system are shown on the current edition of the OS 1:10000 map (1980).
Information from RCAHMS (SAH) 18 April 2000

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I visited the ruins of this farmstead in Jan 08, which are little more than the outline of the buildings and rubble from the collapsed walls. The remains of a road, which can be seen on the 19thC maps, is still visible.

Middtown - Midtown Farmstead

Apr 28 2008

Middtown - Midtown

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Middtown
Map reference: NS 32019 69357

I came across this farm ruin while looking for recorded settlements along the Green Water in 2007.

Middtown farmstead was first recorded in William Roy’s 1747-55 map and is annotated as Midtown on later OS maps. The ruin is just off the B788 near Burnbank Bidge and comprises of one building approximately 5m x 16m, with three compartments and a possible north-facing entrance which looks out onto the nearby road leading to Dippany Farm.

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The walls of the building are made up of rough stone with a lime cement, while the remains of a window and doorway at the rear of the building indicate that some dressed bocks of stone were used in the construction.

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Large tree stumps within the west compartment of the ruin suggest that the building was abandoned some time ago.

A small pile of rubble to the east of the building within the fenced area may indicate the remains of an enclosure or outbuilding.

© Historic Environment Scotland - Scottish Charity No. SC045925.