Principal Sources – see also ‘de Insulis’ text file
OSA Vol 13 No 34
ALI No 76 1462-3, No 102, 1472, No122 1492
RMS III (534) 1527-8, (1924) 1538-9
RMS IV (203, 204) 1548, (854) 1553, (2284) 1574
RMS V (2042) 1591-2, (2362) 1586
RMS VII (298) 1610
RMS X (440) 1655
RSS II (2994) 1539
RSS VI (1549) 1572
RSS VII (178) 1575
RSS VIII (1484) 1583
ER XXI p 529 1586
ER XXII p 445 1590-1
RS37/7/113r 1651, RS37/7/113v 1651
Retours (Ross) (12) 1584, (79) 1633, (124) 1669, (179) 1611
GD1/400/2/3 Section I, Protocol Book of Alexander MacLenan No 126 1672
RHP 24962/1 1862
RHP 24962/2 1862
Highland Papers II pp 330-3, Rental of Seaforth Estates c. 1726
Book of Dunvegan I p 5 1587
Macfarlane’s Geographical Collections Vol. II, p 548
Although combined into the single parish of Lochcarron we are dealing here with 3 districts: Lochcarron, Strome and Kishorn. Lochcarron included Glen Carron which stretches for several miles north-east. The headland round Strome was strategically important as the seat of Strome Castle which controlled the narrows at the entrance to Loch Carron. Kishorn properties were sometimes linked to Strome properties (particularly the constabulary of Strome Castle) and Kishorn may have been regarded as the ‘bordland’ for Strome Castle.
Kishorn seems to have shifted geographically since mediaeval times. Watson (PNRC p 193 under Achintraid) states that Amhainn Cuag a’ Ghlinne is commonly called the Kishorn River. This enters Loch Kishorn at NG 8439. What is currently marked on the maps as the River Kishorn lies to the NNW and enters Loch Kishorn at NG 8342. If we take the older and narrower definition of Kishorn then we must omit the farms of Rassal and Russel. (These also appear as constituents of Applecross (qv)). In addition we must consider Watson’s contention (PNRC p 193) that the site of Doun (often referred to in early documents) may not have been by Lochcarron but round the broch at Lag an Duin by Achavanie. Against this is the cartographic evidence of Pont and Gordon and also the statement on p 548 of Macfarlane’s Geographical Collections Vol. II which gives Doun close to Kirkton. Given that this statement probably came from Pont I give it precedence over Watson.
Kishorn is given with a total of 12m (= 3 davachs) in 1462-3 (ALI No 76), 1472 (ALI No 102), 1527-8 (RMS III (534)) and 1539 (RSS II (2994)); as 13m (3¼ davachs) in 1548 (RMS IV (204)) and 1633 (Retours (Ross) (79)). The reason for this difference may be that the 13m definitions include Stromecastell itself whereas the 12m definitions may have excluded it. However it is difficult to know exactly where the boundaries between Kishorn, Strome and Lochcarron were thought to lie.
The 1548 evidence for Kishorn makes clear that a davach was equivalent to 4m Old Extent (as in Lochalsh, Kintail, Glenelg and Skye). It seems reasonable to conclude that the same ratio applied in the rest of Lochcarron. However in the Strome area there is also evidence of an exchange rate of 40s (3m) to a davach as opposed to the 53s 4d (4m) common elsewhere. I cannot explain this and regard it as one of those little local idiosyncracies which bedevil land-assessment.
The evidence in the table gives a total of 5 davachs for Lochcarron and Strome but I lack a value for Kirkton. Five davachs would be 20m Old Extent. Retours (Ross) (79) 1633 gives Lochcarron an old extent of £13-6s-8d (20m). Kishorn was 3¼ davachs. Together Lochcarron, Strome and Kishorn were at least 8¼ davachs, possibly 10.
The table shows that Lochcarron had pennylands. By comparison with neighbouring areas there are likely to have been 20d to a davach, 5d to a quarterland.