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TITLE
Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (22 of 32)
EXTERNAL ID
ARCH_ALASDAIR_CAMERON_02_07
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Alasdair Cameron
SOURCE
ARCH (Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands)
ASSET ID
41087
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 the area in and around Belmaduthy, on the Black Isle.

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)

AC: We were going to look at the Mains of Belmaduthy which is the same place as Belmaduthy Mains; it tends to be interchangeable.

CM: And we're looking at a copy of, is this the first edition?

AC: It'll be first edition.

CM: So the first edition Ordnance Survey Map for the area? And it's the 1:25, or 25 inches to one mile, is that? Looks like that.

AC: I think it's, I think it's 1:25.

CM: Uh-huh.

AC: Yes.

CM: Uh-huh.

AC: Because the fields have numbers on them.

CM: That's right.

AC: And that we've got a nicely coloured in copy here. I was always interested in the history of the Belmaduthy House because I'd read snippets about it and that it was the HQ of the MacKenzies of Kilcoy and over the years the MacKenzie family seldom stayed at Kilcoy Castle; they were either at their seats of Kilcoy or Belmaduthy and that it's suggested that the MacKenzies at one stage that were in Belmaduthy and owned a lot of the surrounding land, that their main income was not really agriculture but the amount of smuggled goods that they took in through Munlochy Bay. What's left today is basically some of the floors of the house and you can see some of the ceramic tiles that were on the floor, but also if you go through the undergrowth you can see some of the cellars that are open to the roadway. The last use that was made of the cellars was when the farmer at Belmaduthy was undergoing one of the animal health schemes, probably for brucellosis I think. It was a requirement to have an isolation pen for any animals that were found to have been reactors to the test and that his nominated isolation pens were two of the archways of the cellars of Belmaduthy House, which in the past probably contained the finest wines that could be smuggled in from France.

The building was burned down in, somewhere about 1935, '36 we believe, and lots of allegations that it was a deliberate insurance fraud because a lot of the finer furniture was being removed over a period of weeks, including the grand piano, and that you can't carry a grand piano on your own so too many people had to be involved in moving the piano, and the rumour got out that something funny is going to happen here and then it went up in flames. The, for a few years after that the stone work was being removed for various uses on the estate and some found its way into buildings in Tore, some found its way into garden walls and terracing for gardens in Munlochy. There was doubts about using burnt stone for any significant buildings as it was not known exactly what damage had been done to the stone with the flames. There's interesting lists of the china and artefacts that were in the house because the MacKenzies of Kilcoy let out Belmaduthy House in the summertime to shooting guests and retreated to other houses which may have included Kilcoy at one stage but sometimes they simply went into any vacant house on the estate.

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Black Isle Heritage Memories - Alasdair Cameron (22 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 the area in and around Belmaduthy, on the Black Isle.<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 /> AC: We were going to look at the Mains of Belmaduthy which is the same place as Belmaduthy Mains; it tends to be interchangeable.<br /> <br /> CM: And we're looking at a copy of, is this the first edition?<br /> <br /> AC: It'll be first edition.<br /> <br /> CM: So the first edition Ordnance Survey Map for the area? And it's the 1:25, or 25 inches to one mile, is that? Looks like that.<br /> <br /> AC: I think it's, I think it's 1:25.<br /> <br /> CM: Uh-huh.<br /> <br /> AC: Yes.<br /> <br /> CM: Uh-huh.<br /> <br /> AC: Because the fields have numbers on them.<br /> <br /> CM: That's right.<br /> <br /> AC: And that we've got a nicely coloured in copy here. I was always interested in the history of the Belmaduthy House because I'd read snippets about it and that it was the HQ of the MacKenzies of Kilcoy and over the years the MacKenzie family seldom stayed at Kilcoy Castle; they were either at their seats of Kilcoy or Belmaduthy and that it's suggested that the MacKenzies at one stage that were in Belmaduthy and owned a lot of the surrounding land, that their main income was not really agriculture but the amount of smuggled goods that they took in through Munlochy Bay. What's left today is basically some of the floors of the house and you can see some of the ceramic tiles that were on the floor, but also if you go through the undergrowth you can see some of the cellars that are open to the roadway. The last use that was made of the cellars was when the farmer at Belmaduthy was undergoing one of the animal health schemes, probably for brucellosis I think. It was a requirement to have an isolation pen for any animals that were found to have been reactors to the test and that his nominated isolation pens were two of the archways of the cellars of Belmaduthy House, which in the past probably contained the finest wines that could be smuggled in from France.<br /> <br /> The building was burned down in, somewhere about 1935, '36 we believe, and lots of allegations that it was a deliberate insurance fraud because a lot of the finer furniture was being removed over a period of weeks, including the grand piano, and that you can't carry a grand piano on your own so too many people had to be involved in moving the piano, and the rumour got out that something funny is going to happen here and then it went up in flames. The, for a few years after that the stone work was being removed for various uses on the estate and some found its way into buildings in Tore, some found its way into garden walls and terracing for gardens in Munlochy. There was doubts about using burnt stone for any significant buildings as it was not known exactly what damage had been done to the stone with the flames. There's interesting lists of the china and artefacts that were in the house because the MacKenzies of Kilcoy let out Belmaduthy House in the summertime to shooting guests and retreated to other houses which may have included Kilcoy at one stage but sometimes they simply went into any vacant house on the estate.