‘A Cry For Kirkton’- Pupils Film available to view.

The film that the Lochcarron Primary School pupils created  ‘ A cry for Kirkton ‘ is now available to view here via You Tube. The film was a response to their research into the settlement of Kirkton behind Lochcarron- Now our community woodland, many thanks to everyone involved, and to Ray McCartney for uploading and all his work on this.

The Smithy/ A Ceardach- a brief history

“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.

In Front of the Smithy 2001

March 2002

Drama in the Smithy . August 2001



all rights reserved (c) 2018 Lochcarron Community Development Company

“A Cry for Kirkton” heritage film created by pupils.

We are delighted to introduce the film “A Cry for Kirkton”, produced by the pupils of  Lochcarron Primary School, in partnership with Lochcarron Community Development Company .

Based in 1872, the film is a fictional re-enactment of a family being cleared of their home.  “A Cry for Kirkton” showcases the talents of the pupils of Lochcarron Primary School.  From script writing, musicianship, camerawork, acting, editing, to costume design – every pupil has contributed to the making of this film. The process called upon pupils reflecting on their own talents through applying for a role and working as a team to produce a film they can be exceptionally proud of.

The film has resulted from a series of ‘heritage workshops’ that local animateur Lynda Beveridge has been delivering with the school. This has involved the children making a number of visits to the ruinous settlement at Kirkton, examining and surveying the buildings there as well as researching and learning about the lifestyles and livelihoods of its inhabitants – informing their understanding of local heritage and concepts such as Shelter, Community and Sustainability.

The remains of the half-dozen or so buildings of Kirkton have been hidden from view for the last fifty years by the conifer plantation. Purchase of Kirkton Woods from the Forestry Commission by the Lochcarron community group in 2015 – and consequent tree harvesting operations – have once again brought the village to light. With EU funding from LEADER, a new footpath network is being developed to improve access and the primary school will be involved in developing new signs and artwork to be deployed there, explaining the history and local significance of the site.

The support and contribution from the local community for this project has been overwhelming.  This film demonstrates the strong partnership forged between Lochcarron Primary School, & the Lochcarron Community Development Company.

The film will be available to buy as a DVD, please contact us at infosmithyhub@gmail.com to pre-order one, price will vary depending on number of orders, likely to be less than £5.

If you missed the viewing of “A Cry for Kirkton” on Sat 10th March then don’t worry there is another opportunity. We will be viewing again at the Howard Doris Centre on Tues 20th March at 1.45pm. Please feel free to come along and show your support.


Credits / Luchd Cuideachail

Director- Owen MacKenzie
scriptwriters – Rose MacLaren-Lee, Josie Beveridge
Camera operators – Finlay Miller, George Murphy
Editors- James Brown, Ian Carmicheal, Mia Carvill

Cast/ Cleasaichean

man working on boat – Arlo Beveridge
Dad working on boat- Joshua Whittingham
Man cutting peats- Cain Courtney
Boy helping stack peats- Timothy Nicholson
Children playing Hide and seek – Adam Cameron, Archie Cameron, Cade-Lee Courtney
children skipping, Izzy Furness, Lyra McPhail, Naimh Hill
Children playing marbles, Charlie Simmons, Noah MacBeath, Joe Murray
Child skimming stones- Kenneth seel
women cooking, Molly pearce
Women carding wool- Lexie MacKenzie
Women washing in barrel- Maura MacKenzie
Mum – Vivienne Goodman
Women gathering seaweed- Poppy MacKenzie
landlord, Brodie Miller
Landlords 2nd in command- James Brown
Child- girl – Izzy Furness
Child- by- Cain Courtney, charlie Simmons
Crew/ sgioba

Runners – Cameron Hill, Donald macPherson Raffell, Charlie MacLaren-Lee
props and scenery- Maura MacKenzie, Kaitlyn MacBeath
Costume Designers – Destinee McPhail, Alec Carmichael, Orla-Rose Macpherson Raffell

Music/ Ceol

singers- Mischa Fraser, Noah MacCartney, Elspeth MacLaren -Lee
Cello- Sasha Westerduin
Guitar- Cara Strath
Whistle and Pipes- Kiera Whittingham
Piano- Dolina Munro
Musical Arrangement- Dolina Munro
Song title- Duthaich Mhicaoidh
Music recording/ editing/ arrangement – Ray MacCarthney

Kirkton Woodland animateur – Lynda Beveridge

Lochcarron Primary school head teacher- Robert Gill

many thanks also to the following people, their assistance was fundamental to the making of the film

Location scout and amateur Historian- Paul Swan
Local historian and location assistant- Kenny ( Jeck ) MacKenzie
proprietors of the Ardaneaskan Museum – Christobell and Murdo MacKay
Owner of the boat- George Hendry
Drone footage- Peter MacKenzie
Transportation – DMK motors
Sound system and screen- Keith Pearce






Engaging with Lochcarron Primary school pupils.

AS part of our ongoing ‘Haven on Earth’ project to develop Kirkton community woodland. we are undertaking some community engagement work, and working with the pupils from Lochcarron Primary school.  Lynda Beveridge and Paul Swan have started things off with some school visits this March.

In view of the ruined settlement at Kirkton Community Woodland pupils were asked to consider; why did the former residents of Kirkton choose to settle there? Having examined the local OS map,  Pupils set about constructing their own ariel view of a settlement using natural materials.  They were assigned team projects e.g Settlements, Roads and Paths, Water and Rivers, Vegetation & Mountains.  With great gusto and teamwork pupils set about making their own settlement comprising of a Tipi, houses, grazing enclosures, places of worship, roads, bridges, rivers, forests, flora and fauna and mountains.  Not to mention a harbour with marina and pier, an ancient stone circle, an ant sanctuary and their very own version of Rio’s  “Christ the redeemer” overlooking the settlement.  Great work for the pupils of Lochcarron Primary school!

We hope to see some of them at our Easter Activities Programme at The Treehouse in Lochcarron.

The History of Kirkton Settlement. Exhibition.

poster For Highland Archeology Festival 2016 we will be putting on an exhibition in the Treehouse of the History of Kirkton Settlement. The Exhibition will be on throughout October, Monday to Thursday 10 – 4.
More information about HAF events is on the official website

glebelands map - titled


Heritage Exhibition. Our Local Railway


Heritage Photograph Exhibition
 The Local Railway

A collection of Old photographs of
The Skye & Dingwall Railway line, Stations and Trains.

Free Entry
The Tree House at the Smithy Hub.
On until September 30th
Open 10am—4pm. Monday to Friday
please note the Treehouse may also being used for a private function, please check if making a special journey

01520 722 952
any further information or Photographs
always welcome.

attadale-railway-station-lms-1962-on-the-dingwall-kyle-photo scanoldphoto034 walking-the-line-late-19th-century-caithness-horizons





H.E.R.  No.  MHG56895

GRID  REF.  92304205

The Magazine , looking Northmagazine 1


1. The thickness of the walls and roof.

2.The robbed stone from the corners.

3.The faint impression of the outer wall running down the right edge and along the bottom of the photo.

From the Ordnance Survey maps survey dates, this structure was built sometime between 1902 to 1907 (most likely nearer 1902 than 1907). It being built, possibly over safety concerns, to replace the original which was located at the south east side of Battery Park in the centre of Lochcarron, and used to store munitions for the artillery battery that was based in Lochcarron.

The structure is approximately 5 metres square and 2 metres high, its walls are some 40cms thick throughout and roofed by concrete slabs 20cms thick in the centre thinning to 15cms at the edge. It is sub divided internally into three rooms, the two smaller ones having smooth cemented floors while the larger room has a dirt floor. Finally, it was surrounded all round by a substantial wall of 40cms thick to an unknown height (now only exists to one course in height).

All the stone from this outer wall along with all the corner stones and doorway edging stones of the magazine have been taken for reuse, indeed, if it were not for the weight of the roof which would cause a potential collapse, then it is likely that all trace of this structure would have been lost to history as people usually reused any good building stone.

 magazine maps

Ordnance Survey map evidence.

 magazine 2

Internal arrangement

This room takes up half the building and has an earthen floor. The other half is split into two rooms, approx one third-two thirds and has smooth cement floors.

by Paul Swan

all rights reserved (c) 2015 Paul Swan & Lochcarron Community Development Company

Archive Photographs

The Gallery of photographs below have been uploaded from our Archives. These were inherited from former Smithy Heritage Society and gathered from many sources over the years. Click the small pictures to see larger ones. If anyone has any further information about any of these photographs please let us know either by writing in the comments box or via e-mail; lochcarronkwhg@gmail.com. If you have any old photographs of local interest and would like to share them to this digital archive, we would be very grateful.

all rights reserved (c) 2016 Lochcarron Community Development Company