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TITLE
The Isle of Rum: A Short History (4 of 5)
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_JOHNLOVE_04
PLACENAME
Rum
DISTRICT
Lochaber
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Small Isles
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
John Love
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2049
KEYWORDS
Rhum
deer traps
audio

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John Love is perhaps best known for his efforts in achieving the return of the sea eagle to Scotland, on the Island of Rum, in 1975. He has also published various books and articles on the history and natural history of the Hebrides, including Rum and St Kilda. In this audio extract from 1983, Bill Sinclair talks to John about his recently-published book, 'The Isle of Rum: A Short History'.

Interviewer: There's an illustration here that seems to be too large.

Mm-hmm. Yes. In fact, that is a medieval deer trap. It's a sort of funnel of two walls going down the hillside, narrowing all the time, and quite a large enclosure at the bottom, with a high wall about six or eight feet high. And the idea was that the clansmen at the time would spread out over the hillside and gradually enclose a herd of deer and drive them forward into this funnel, and drive them down to the pen at the end, and then some men waiting behind the wall with spears and dirks and guns would slaughter as many deer as they could before they all escaped.

Interviewer: And is it actually the height you mentioned still?

Yes. It's in quite a good state of preservation. There are old historical accounts referring to it but we never knew exactly where the various structures were. I think there are probably more than one on Rum, but that's probably the best preserved and the most obvious.

Interviewer: Do you know of any other ones anywhere else?

I believe there are some on the mainland, and deer drives like this, I think, occurred on the mainland, on the Atholl Estate, for instance, into the nineteenth century, I think

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The Isle of Rum: A Short History (4 of 5)

INVERNESS: Small Isles

1980s

Rhum; deer traps; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: History of Rum

John Love is perhaps best known for his efforts in achieving the return of the sea eagle to Scotland, on the Island of Rum, in 1975. He has also published various books and articles on the history and natural history of the Hebrides, including Rum and St Kilda. In this audio extract from 1983, Bill Sinclair talks to John about his recently-published book, 'The Isle of Rum: A Short History'.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: There's an illustration here that seems to be too large.<br /> <br /> Mm-hmm. Yes. In fact, that is a medieval deer trap. It's a sort of funnel of two walls going down the hillside, narrowing all the time, and quite a large enclosure at the bottom, with a high wall about six or eight feet high. And the idea was that the clansmen at the time would spread out over the hillside and gradually enclose a herd of deer and drive them forward into this funnel, and drive them down to the pen at the end, and then some men waiting behind the wall with spears and dirks and guns would slaughter as many deer as they could before they all escaped.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And is it actually the height you mentioned still?<br /> <br /> Yes. It's in quite a good state of preservation. There are old historical accounts referring to it but we never knew exactly where the various structures were. I think there are probably more than one on Rum, but that's probably the best preserved and the most obvious.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Do you know of any other ones anywhere else?<br /> <br /> I believe there are some on the mainland, and deer drives like this, I think, occurred on the mainland, on the Atholl Estate, for instance, into the nineteenth century, I think