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The major economic and social unit in the rural landscape of Scotland in the later and post-medieval period was the joint-tenancy farm township. In exchange for goods and labour, feudal landowners leased their land jointly to a group of tenant farmers. At this time farming was not for profit, but subsistence. During the period known, as the age of Agricultural Improvement (circa 1730 to 1830), landowners “improved” their joint-tenancy farm townships and turned them into more profitable single-tenant farms with enclosed fields.
The Township of Auchindrain is considered to be of national importance in the study of agriculture in Scotland, because it was never “improved”; it did change, at a workaday level, from a joint-tenancy farm township in the 1700s to a single-tenant farm in the 20th century.
The Township is made up of a range of fully representative agricultural buildings of the pre-improvement era including tenant farmers’ longhouses, domestic houses, barns, animal shelters, stables, a cart shed, a corn drying-kiln, the remains of a mill, walled gardens and part of a drove road. Unlike the relocated and reconstructed township buildings at the Highland Folk Museum, the Township of Auchindrain consists of an original set of farm buildings that have remained in-situ and are surrounded by ancient field systems.
Museum, Agricultural site
1st April-31st October,
Last admission to the Museum at 16.00pm daily.
Closed 1st November - 31st March,
Open during the closed season by appointment only, please contact the Museum Manager for further information.
Children (5-15 Years Old): £2.20
Senior Citizens: £3.50
Families (2 Adults & Up To 3 Children): £12.00
Group Tickets Available On Request (Concessions Apply)
Minard & Furnace Residents: Free
Friends Of The Museum: Free
- British Association of Friends of Museums
- Historic Scotland
Additional on-site attractions include farm animals, feeding the Museum chickens, shopping in our small Gift Shop, enjoying drinks and cakes or a picnic in this historic and attractive location, having fun using one of our FREE family activity trays or lifelong learning/education activities, enjoying a walk in the Museum grounds or joining in with one of our Special Events. A visit to Auchindrain is an entertaining and educational day out for everyone!
Farm townships like Auchindrain were once common throughout Scotland and indeed much of Europe. Today only Auchindrain survives as an exceptionally complete, evolved group of farm buildings, dating from the period 1750-1840. The Township of Auchindrain is nationally important and unique, in having escaped the age of Agricultural Improvement, the subsequent Crofting schemes of the later 19th century and the vicissitudes of social and economic decline. Only a small number of completely deserted and ruinous townships in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland can provide similar data. These townships are, however, often difficult to access and lack the historical documentation which Auchindrain possesses.
Social History, Architecture, Agriculture
Key artists and exhibits
- The Township is also strongly representative of the character and development of farming practices, vernacular building traditions and the history of agriculture in Scotland. The Township of Auchindrain survives exceptionally complete as an evolved group of pre-improvement farm buildings, which are of architectural and historical importance. The Township consists of a range of agricultural buildings, which fall into three key categories:
- On 25th September 2008 the Township of Auchindrain, was, along with five other Museum Collections located across Scotland, recognised as being significant to the nation under the Recognition Scheme.