Mineralbank (Glen Aldie)
"The land was badly drained, full of stones and covered in heather. The farmstead itself was in poor repair, unfurnished and with no heating".
This was how locals referred to Mineralbank in the cold winter of 1923, when William Bonnar took over the croft.
Yet, with a lot of hard work, Bonnar improved the land and created a self-sufficient life for himself and his family.
Mineralbank cottage. © Unknown. Best effort has been made by Forestry Commission Scotland to find the copyright holder.
Bonnar was an experienced cattleman from Aberdeenshire. In 1920 Peter Robertson of Castle Craig farm offered him a job and he moved to the Highlands.
He was determined to have a place of his own and, despite its problems, Mineralbank was Bonnar's golden opportunity. Members of the local community still remember how hard Bonnar, and his two children, worked from dawn to dusk to make the farm a success.
Mineralbank farm. © Unknown. Best effort has been made by Forestry Commission Scotland to find the copyright holder.
The Bonnars had around one hundred sheep and several cows. Bonnar's daughter milked the cows and made butter and cheese. They also grew oats and turnips and kept chickens for eggs.
Their cart shed held their two horses and cart, which they used on their occasional shopping trip to Tain; there, they bought the few things that the farm could not supply for them.
Today you can walk around the remains of the Mineralbank farmstead. There were several sheds for holding animals and farm equipment.
Visiting Mineralbank Cottage
The exact location of Mineralbank Cottage is grid reference NH 748 790.
The best place to access the forest is the Aldie Burn car park.
Follow the waymarked Burn trail. The remains of Mineralbank are close to the trail.
All sites managed by Forestry Commission Scotland are open for you to explore. However, not all sites have paths or signage and some are a considerable distance from car parking. We recommend that visitors consult a detailed map and wear appropriate clothing.
Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and remember that historic sites should be treated with care and respect.