Louise Boulanger

Location: Applecross and Loch Carron
clearances and resistance, farming and crofting, gaelic language and placenames

Ach’ a’ Choirce

Ach’ a’ Choirce means the field of oats, suggesting a place that is fertile and productive. It is not surprising that a township should have sprung up here. Many people lived in this small community, though few nowadays know that it even existed.

A systematic clearance of Ach' a' Choirce was carried out in the early 19th century. The people were forced off the land and out of their houses by the MacKenzie landlords who wanted to turn the land into a farm as part of their ‘agricultural improvements’. The people who were evicted were driven to newer settlements on the coastal fringe of Applecross- townships like An Àird Dhubh (‘Ardubh’, or the black headland) which had no fresh water source. Those who had been evicted carried the stones from their demolished houses to build walls to enclose farm fields and to help build the retaining walls which bolster the low coastal road which runs around the head of Applecross Bay. This work benefitted the landlords’ plans, and made certain that the people could never return to their old settlement.

More information on visiting the area can be found here.