6. Carman Cottage

Carman Hill

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright January 2019, Lairich Rig; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Carman Cottage

In this article, the name Carman CottageExternal link is used to refer to a building that was located at NS37797934, near the head of the Poachy Glen. It is not to be confused with Carman HouseExternal link, now also gone, which stood to the west of Carman Reservoir, and which is discussed laterExternal link.

I am very grateful to Catherine Cameron for providing, by email, many additional details about the cottage, which had been the home of her grandparents, and for letting me see some older photographs of the ruins, as well as a painting, made around 1936, of the cottage as it appeared when it was still occupied. First of all, Catherine confirmed that the OS map is correct in calling the building "Carman Cottage"; her grandfather, a shepherd and croft-worker, lived there at around the end of the nineteenth century, and the family's birth certificates give the building's name. There was a garden associated with the cottage; vegetables were grown there, and there were also some fruit bushes, a chicken run, and pens for animals. In the winter, these animals were brought under shelter, in a lean-to attached to the cottage. Catherine's grandmother had to draw water daily, and relied on the farm animals, not just for their milk, which she also used to make butter and cheese, but also for meat.

The painting that was made c.1936, and which shows trees and higher hills behind the cottage, confirmed my uncertain impression that the main entrance of the cottage had been in the middle of its eastern side; the doorway would therefore have provided a view downhill, over the fields, looking towards the River Leven and the Vale. The painting also depicts a lean-to at the southern end of the cottage, and a smaller one at the northern end. I am indebted to Catherine for this information, which helps to bring the past to life.

Further information can be found in a PDF documentExternal link (2.9 MB) about Carman Fair at the Vale of Leven website. Note that the pictures on pages one and four of that document are of a different building, Carman HouseExternal link, located to the west of Carman Reservoir; the picture on page five, though, is perhaps of Carman Cottage; at any rate, its form seems to correspond to the one in the old painting.

Remains

The pictures sent to me showed that, in 1966, the ruins appeared much the same as they do today, although the foundations and loose stones were then less overgrown, and so stood out more clearly from the surrounding vegetation. The pictures below show the ruin in recent years:
 
NS3779 : Ruins of Carman Cottage by Lairich RigNS3779 : Ruins of Carman Cottage by Lairich RigNS3779 : Ruins of Carman Cottage by Lairich RigCarman Cottage:
(left) from the south.
(middle) from the east.
(right) from the west.

 
NS3779 : Ruins of Carman Cottage by Lairich RigNS3779 : Ruins of Carman Cottage: the entrance by Lairich RigNS3779 : Carman Cottage: northern end of the ruin by Lairich Rig(left) From the north.
(middle) The former site of a door, as seen from the interior; the door faced ESE (downhill).
(right) The site of a fireplace at the northern end of the building.

The painting mentioned above reveals that there was a lean-to structure attached to each of the short ends of the building, and that the main building had a chimney at each end; the site of the northern fireplace is shown in the last of the above pictures.
 

KML

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