Dougie Milne Photography Logo

The Old Farmhouse, Inchcailloch, Loch Lomond

The Old Farmhouse, Inchcailloch, Loch Lomond  - Copyright Dougie Milne Photography 2023

Click on picture for buying options


Inchcailloch is a woodland-covered island at the southern end of Loch Lomond.

The shattered remains of an old farmhouse can be seen on the right in this pano. This dates from the time before the woods were planted. There would have been fields of oats and barley, and the family that lived here probably also kept a few hens, some cattle and some sheep. The farmer was evicted by the island's owners, the Montrose Estate, in around 1796. Before he and his family left, he was ordered to plant acorns across the island, bringing farming to an end on Inchcailloch after 2000 years.

While many of those affected by the Clearances were replaced by sheep, the Duke of Montrose, whose estate covered the area around the southern end of Loch Lomond, replaced his tenants with oak trees, and his woodland still covers the area to this day. Walkers on the West Highland Way can still see the haunting remains of cleared villages and farmsteads among the trees between Balmaha and Inversnaid.

The oak trees were required as a source of wood for charcoal production for iron smelting. Oak bark is used in the process of tanning leather. The bark was loaded on to barges on the loch, and sailed down to the tanneries on the River Leven at the southern end of the loch. This was Montrose's contribution to the Industrial Revolution, which was powered by machines made of iron, with sturdy drive belts made of leather.

This picture was taken on 7 May 2023.