What can be seen at Rogie today
Today, only the ruins of the core of the clachan, or township, survive. The remains of the two main farmsteads are described below. The field systems and other associated buildings have been lost within the forest. More discoveries are being made all the time, however, and investigation continues.
The central farmstead comprises:
- a longhouse, with living space at one end and a cattle byre, with well-preserved byre drain visible, at the other
- a kiln barn containing an unusual double-flued corn-drying kiln
- a kailyard (or garden enclosure)
- several associated outbuildings
The clips below explain what the buildings in the settlement were use for.
Corn drying kiln
All of the buildings in the settlement would have been roofed with wooden crucks (pairs of timbers) and thatched. Brian Wilkinson, archaeologist with RCAHMS, highlights this in the clip below.
Another farmstead lies about 250m to the west, comprising the more ruinous remains of several buildings, one possibly containing a collapsed corn-drying kiln.
Background to the clachan
The clachan was the traditional settlement type of the Highlands until the Clearances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Each clachan contained a small farming community that lived and worked together, supporting each other over the years.
The longhouses, barns, kilns and outbuildings were loosely scattered amongst the yards and stock enclosures, while the nearby arable land was shared between the families.
During the summer months the women and children would accompany the cattle to the shieling grounds (or upland pasture), while the men remained to tend the crops.
This form of settlement survived until the Clearances, to be replaced by sheep, shepherds and the occasional croft, struggling to make a living.