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Inivea Township, overlooking Calgary Bay, is situated on the north side of the bay in an exposed position on the lower slopes of Cruach Sleibhe at a height of about 75 m above sea-level.  It can be accessed by a steep path going up from the pier.  This is a stunning short walk, but Inivea now seems to be the home of the local Highland Cattle, so please leave your dog at home!  There are over 20 ruins, dating from the 18th or early 19th centuries, and many of the houses are well preserved.  There is evidence of rig-cultivation, a corn drying kiln and a winnowing barn.

Click on images to enlarge

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This township consists of the remains of about two dozen buildings and associated enclosures, several of the houses standing to wall-head level.  The buildings are mostly grouped in twos and threes, and occupy patches of comparatively level ground.  The majority of the dwelling-houses have been built on a north-east to south-west axis so as to present an end-wall to the prevailing south-west wind.  The barns, on the other hand, which usually have opposed, winnowing-doors in the centre of their side-walls, are mostly set at right angles to the wind to allow a through draft.

The houses are exceptionally well built of carefully selected blocks of local basalt set in clay mortar and well bonded with pinnings.  Some have subsequently been pointed both internally and externally with lime mortar. The walls are gently battered (wider at the bottom and narrower at the top) and the external corners are rounded, many of the larger stones having been hammer-dressed to a curve.  Most of the houses have square internal corners, but those of some of the ancillary buildings are rounded both inside and out.  The roofs were evidently hip-ended, and, since there is no evidence of cruck-frame construction, the rafters are assumed to have rested directly upon the wall-heads.  Some buildings show traces of two or more separate phases of construction.

The houses measure on average 10.1 m by 6.1 m over walls 0.9 m in thickness.  They contained two main rooms, probably opening off a small centrally placed entrance-lobby, but none of the internal partition-walls, which were, no doubt, made of creel or wattle, now remain.  At least one of the houses had a stone-built fireplace in one of the end-walls, but most of them probably had clay-canopied chimneys, all traces of which have now disappeared.  Each room was lit by one, or at the most two, lintelled windows set within splayed embrasures, the lower room in many of the houses containing a centrally placed window in the end-wall, overlooking Calgary Bay.

The barns measure on average 7.9 m by 4.6 m, while the other ancillary buildings, many of which were probably byres, are somewhat smaller.  The associated enclosures vary a good deal in size and shape, a number of them being sub-rectangular.  They were probably kail-yards.  The unnamed burn, which flows through the township, falls into a small rocky pool, the mouth of which may have been enclosed to form the lower chamber of a horizontal mill.  All the surviving buildings of the township appear to be of 18th- or early 19th-century date.

The main area of arable cultivation appears to have been a broad shelf lying immediately above the township and extending about 500 m eastwards.  Here there are obvious traces of rig-cultivation, together with what appear to be the remains of a corn-drying kiln.

The existence of a farm or township at ‘Inue’ is recorded on Pont’s late-16th-century map.  At that time it was part of the MacLean of Duart estates and in about 1670 the lands of ‘Imvie’ paid a rental of £80 Scots. Thereafter, it passed to the Campbells of Argyll, and in 1739 the 2nd Duke of Argyll granted a nineteen-year lease of ‘all and haill the one pennyland of Inive’ to four sitting tenants at an annual rent of £93 6s 8d Scots.  By the last quarter of the 18th century the township seems to have been incorporated in the neighbouring farm of Frachadil.  It is not mentioned by name in the census of the Argyll estates made in 1779 or on Langland’s map of 1801.  In 1817 the property came into the hands of Captain Allan McAskill of Mornish and local tradition says that he evicted the inhabitants of the township.

 Grid Reference NM 368 518