“Is Airidh Am Fear-Oibre air a Lon”
The Smithy/ A Ceardach
The first smithy was Finlay Murchison, known as Fionnladh Gow, who came from Corrieleerie, a few miles further up Glencarron. He had traced his ancestos to a Roman Catholic priest in Kintail who changed faith at the reformation. Family traditio relates that Finlay sharpened the chisels for the stonemasons who built the original bridge over the Ahainn Bhuachaig, around 1817 as part of the road from Dingwall to Stromeferry.
The bridge was built to the west of the river over dry land and the river was then diverted to run under the new bridge. Following completion of this bridge Finlay leased a croft from the Mackenzie of Applecross and built the Smithy and the house opposite, the house was extended and improved over the years.
the old stone bridge was replaced by the present bridge in 1976.
The smithy was built on the road junction to New Kelso and the old road is still visible and a popular walking track today.
On the hill slope to the north of the Smithy, there was an old village which had bee unoccupied for some time prior to to Finlay Murchison’s arrival. dyke, clearly visible on the hill behind the Smithy, was built from the stones of the previous houses. Finlay built part of this dyke.
Finlay Murchisons only child Kenneth took over the business and was known as Coinneach a’Gow. One the his children Finlay , usually called Philip, was the last Smith, Philip did not marry and the Smithy remained more or less unused after his death in 1954.
In 1990 it was donated to the community, to be managed by the Smithy Heritage Centre charity which has formed out of the Lochcarron and Applecross historical society. the Smithy was restored to be used as a Heritage center and became a popular visitor attraction, and venue to various cultural events. Around 2007 it closed to the public due to a lack of volunteers to run it and problems with flooding. in 2009 the charity was taken over by lochcarron community development company ( called Kirkton woodland and heritage group initially ), the Smithy remained unused as it would take too much funding to bring it up to a modern standard.
In 2015 a local potter took on a the tenancy of the Smithy doing some renovation work and opening the building up again as a pop-up working & teaching pottery studio. As the pottery trial was a success and bought more people to the site, in 2016 LCDC invested in some insulation for the building making it usable all year around.
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