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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (14 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_01_14
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41079
KEYWORDS
audios
farmers
farming
agriculture
built environment
villages
dwellings
houses
farms
settlements

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In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about various areas in the Rosehaugh Estate including Muiralehouse and Mains of Benetsfield.

The audio recording was carried out as part of the Black Isle Heritage Memories Project, undertaken in 2009/2010 by ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands). To find out more about the project, follow the link towards the foot of the page.

Transcription: (Interviewer: Cait McCullagh)

CM: In terms of the buildings today because, obviously, given what you were saying about dairy farming, and the demise of dairy farming in the Black Isle, I wonder, is Muiralehouse one of the farms that has been affected and ...?

AC: Yes, yes. When, when I was photographing it, that it, what probably prompted me to look at it was the introduction of bulk transport and that they had modernised totally where they had a big stainless steel bulk tank that is chilled and the milk is collected by a tanker. Now that is all abandoned and just last year the farm sold off all their dairy cattle and now it's a beef and cereal unit, integrated with a landscaping business that the family can cope with, when they're not so heavily involved in farming.

CM: And so in terms of the buildings, because substantial farm buildings associated with the dairy farming, has the built structure of the farm changed a great deal?

AC: The built structure hasn't changed yet. I think it's maybe too soon for that. Some of it will certainly be used for their beef cattle that, genetically they've still got some of their dairy stock but they're using beef breeds to cross with them so there's some odd colours of progeny in the meantime but they're gradually moving towards much more beef breeds.

Yes, I'm looking at the Mains of Benetsfield, that, one of the features there that was interesting was that at the time of the religious Disruption they were looking for a site for a Free Church in the parish but it's said that the family of Rosehaugh wouldn't allow it so the neighbouring landowner, the Mathesons of Benetsfield, offered them a site provided it was on the top of the hill at Benetsfield so that the neighbours at Rosehaugh couldn't fail to see it every time they looked out of their window. I know the site; I've looked at it, and I've looked at it when a water main went through it a few years ago. No trace of it whatsoever but it probably was a wooden structure if it was ever built there because that was the pattern that the first Free Churches adopted. There was certainly one in Munlochy and in quite a few other locations.

I'm looking at the Avoch Meal Mill lands. I suppose that it's only a small area, fifteen acres probably, described as a croft, and that it's mentioned 'it's near the town, beside the mill lade' that it was quite a distinctive feature of the village, having quite a high structure. And, like most of the meal mills of the period, there was all the complications that if you were a tenant on the farm, on the estate, you were legally bound to bring all your grain to be ground to meal at the designated meal mill. If you failed to bring your grain you had to pay what the miller lost by not getting his payment for milling your land, your grain, so the rent that the miller paid for his property was based on the potential income from the various tenants on the estate.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (14 of 32)

ROSS

2010s

audios; farmers; farming; agriculture; built environment; villages; dwellings; houses; farms; settlements;

ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)

ARCH: Black Isle Heritage Memories

In this audio extract, Black Isle farmer Alasdair Cameron talks about various areas in the Rosehaugh Estate including Muiralehouse and Mains of Benetsfield.<br /> <br /> The audio recording was carried out as part of the Black Isle Heritage Memories Project, undertaken in 2009/2010 by ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands). To find out more about the project, follow the link towards the foot of the page.<br /> <br /> Transcription: (Interviewer: Cait McCullagh)<br /> <br /> CM: In terms of the buildings today because, obviously, given what you were saying about dairy farming, and the demise of dairy farming in the Black Isle, I wonder, is Muiralehouse one of the farms that has been affected and ...?<br /> <br /> AC: Yes, yes. When, when I was photographing it, that it, what probably prompted me to look at it was the introduction of bulk transport and that they had modernised totally where they had a big stainless steel bulk tank that is chilled and the milk is collected by a tanker. Now that is all abandoned and just last year the farm sold off all their dairy cattle and now it's a beef and cereal unit, integrated with a landscaping business that the family can cope with, when they're not so heavily involved in farming.<br /> <br /> CM: And so in terms of the buildings, because substantial farm buildings associated with the dairy farming, has the built structure of the farm changed a great deal?<br /> <br /> AC: The built structure hasn't changed yet. I think it's maybe too soon for that. Some of it will certainly be used for their beef cattle that, genetically they've still got some of their dairy stock but they're using beef breeds to cross with them so there's some odd colours of progeny in the meantime but they're gradually moving towards much more beef breeds.<br /> <br /> Yes, I'm looking at the Mains of Benetsfield, that, one of the features there that was interesting was that at the time of the religious Disruption they were looking for a site for a Free Church in the parish but it's said that the family of Rosehaugh wouldn't allow it so the neighbouring landowner, the Mathesons of Benetsfield, offered them a site provided it was on the top of the hill at Benetsfield so that the neighbours at Rosehaugh couldn't fail to see it every time they looked out of their window. I know the site; I've looked at it, and I've looked at it when a water main went through it a few years ago. No trace of it whatsoever but it probably was a wooden structure if it was ever built there because that was the pattern that the first Free Churches adopted. There was certainly one in Munlochy and in quite a few other locations. <br /> <br /> I'm looking at the Avoch Meal Mill lands. I suppose that it's only a small area, fifteen acres probably, described as a croft, and that it's mentioned 'it's near the town, beside the mill lade' that it was quite a distinctive feature of the village, having quite a high structure. And, like most of the meal mills of the period, there was all the complications that if you were a tenant on the farm, on the estate, you were legally bound to bring all your grain to be ground to meal at the designated meal mill. If you failed to bring your grain you had to pay what the miller lost by not getting his payment for milling your land, your grain, so the rent that the miller paid for his property was based on the potential income from the various tenants on the estate.