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[Me]

Touring Britain bit by bit with a pair of boots, a few bicycles, a lot of trains and a bag of lenses. I take pictures and then I write about them.

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abandoned places and things architecture bristol coastal cumbria events highlands history industrial lake district lakes london mountains not the uk photo essays photography politics protests rural rural decay science scotland somerset structures the north uk urban urban decay wales westcountry all tags


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Sun, 9 Mar 2014

Under the hills of Torridon

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[Tag] Tags: highlands, mountains, northwest highlands, rural, scotland, torridon hills, torridon, uk, wester ross


Sun, 21 Oct 2012

The standing stones of Machrie Moor

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[Tag] Tags: arran, highlands, history, islands of the clyde, machrie moor, rural, scotland, stone circles, uk


Sun, 15 Jul 2012

The Crinan Canal

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[Tag] Tags: canals, highlands, history, industrial, rural, scotland, uk


Sun, 17 Jun 2012

A82

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[Tag] Tags: bridges, highlands, history, mountains, photo essays, rannoch moor, roads, rural, scotland, uk


Sun, 29 Apr 2012

Courthill House

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[Tag] Tags: abandoned places and things, architecture, highlands, history, northwest highlands, rosshire, ruins, rural decay, rural, scotland, uk, wester ross


Sat, 4 Feb 2012

The ruins of St Colmac's

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[Tag] Tags: abandoned places and things, bute, cemeteries, churches, derelict, highlands, history, ruins, rural decay, rural, scotland, uk


Thu, 7 Apr 2011

The Moine House

The Moine

The geology and landscape of the Scottish Highlands are famously divided by the Great Glen fault. Less famous is the Moine Thrust Belt, running almost parallel to the Great Glen a hundred miles north. Here the rocks and landscape of the northern Highlands are pushed over those of the Hebrides and far north west, forming a belt of steep hills and cliffs from the north coast at Eriboll down to the west coast at Skye. It's named for The Moine -- the moss -- the vast peat moor that sits at the top of the hill on the northern Highland rocks above Eriboll on the northern coast of Sutherland.

Moine House Moine House

As you climb the A838 from the sea inlets from Loch Eriboll heading east, or from Kyle of Tongue heading west the great flat empty moor stretches to the distant mountains, Ben Loyal in the east and Ben Hope in the west, interrupted only by two curious steep pyramids almost on the horizon. As you cross the bog they grow into the gable-end walls of a house, a perfectly ordinary little highland cottage isolated in the middle of the moor.

Moine House

With two rooms, a porch, and a loft, Moine House was built with the road in 1830 as a half-way stop for travellers. Occupied by several generations of Mackays, up to ten people at a time, the house still acted as an inn for travellers throughout the 1800s, until the motorcar era negated its original purpose, and the Mackays moved on to less harsh and more profitable locations.

Moine House Moine House

The roof fell in sometime around 1987, though there has been some attempt since to preserve what remains. The EU have since "improved" the A838 by building a whole new road over the moor on a different alignment, straighter, wider, faster, allowing the old single track road outside the house to slowly fade under the moss. Despite its isolated location, miles from anything in an already sparsely populated region without cities, it has managed to acquire some murals, distinctly urban in style, slightly faded now after three or four years exposed to the relentless rain of the northern Highlands.

Moine House

More photos in the Highlands gallery.

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[Tag] Tags: abandoned places and things, bleak locations, end of the road, flow country, graffiti, highlands, photo essays, ruins, rural decay, rural, scotland, structures, sutherland, the moine, uk


Sat, 26 Feb 2011

Helmsdale Harbour

Harbour

In the winter, while I neglected to post on the blog, I spent some time out of the way to concentrate on work. Helmsdale in Sutherland was about as out of the way as I could find.

Washing Line Sea Wall

It's on the east coast in the far north of the Scottish Highlands, on the railway half way between Inverness and Thurso.

Harbour

At the mouth of the Helmsdale River, otherwise known as River Ullie, which flows down the Strath of Kildonan (Strath Ullie) from Loch Badanloch.

Lobster Pots Street

It has a little harbour with big old breakwaters where the snow gathers and stays pristine until the stormy seas crash and overtop the walls.

Harbour Wall

Built in 1818 during the Highland clearances, when subsistence farmers were evicted by landlords who wanted to develop more profitable industries and agricultural practices on their estates.

Warning No Networking

The harbour was built to accommodate herring fleets, worked by the displaced farmers, and it was extended in 1823 and 1892, and refurbished in the last couple of years.

Boat

At one time the tiny port was home to 200 fishing boats, one of the largest herring fleets in Europe.

Footprints Harbour Wall

Now it's as much a tourist town as a fishing port, but a few boats remain, out every day, even in the darkest mid-winter.

Bridge

More pictures in the Highlands gallery.


[Tag] Tags: coastal, harbours, helmsdale, highlands, history, rural, scotland, sea, snow, sutherland, uk, winter


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My other blog is a...
  • Science blog! A blog about cancer cell and molecular biology, coming soon...
  • Skepticism blog! I contribute to the group blog Lay Science on the nature of science, skepticism, and bad arguments.
  • Science publishing blog! It's called Journalology and it's a group blog about publishers, journals, papers and data.
  • Fiction blog! Where I make stuff up, coming soon...
  • Cycling and transport policy blog! I run the group blog At War With The Motorist, where we look at evidence-based urban planning and transport policy, and ride bikes.

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Creative Commons License All text and photography on this site is Joe Dunckley 2001-10, except where stated otherwise. Text and photos are released under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license, meaning that you may reuse, remix, and republish the work for non-commercial purposes, on the condition that a credit is given to "Joe Dunckley/Cotch.net" and you make it clear that the work is released under this license. See this page for more detailed conditions. Contact me to enquire about commercial and editorial use.