Glenlyon History Society

Comann Eachdraidh Ghleann Lìomhann

The Glenlyon HS, Scotland, is run by local residents of Glenlyon (map) with an interest in the local history of the glen.

Blackcroft (Croitriach)

Blackcroft Ruins - looking west towards the farmland.The settlement named on the modern OS map as Blackcroft used to be known as Croitriach. This site has been unoccupied for many years and there are only ruins of the buildings and enclosures remaining. The photograph shows the ruins and looks west towards the flat field adjacent to the properties.

The 1851 census shows two occupied properties and a total of three inhabitants at Blackcroft. By 1901 there were no residents.

The settlement is located at the eastern end of an alluvial field on the banks of the river Lyon. Like most settlements in the glen is is nearby a small hill stream which could have provided clean water from the hill. and the river is also nearby..

The field has been ploughed in recent times and the farmer states that the soil near the properties is much darker in nature. In his view this shows signs of previous cultivation.

Like most settlements the houses are situated off the best ground - leaving the better adjacent ground for crops or grazing. The houses are also situated above the general flood level. Recent severe flooding, which was some of the worst for 30 years, did not reach the ruins of these properties.

The settlement is hard against the northern slopes of the hills to the south and would consequently lose the sun from late autumn to early spring. This would have been a cold location in deep winter, though it would be sheltered to some extent by the trees and hills.

Roman Bridge - a small pack horse bridge in Glenlyon.At the western end of the adjacent field is the Allt da Gob and the small packhorse bridge known as the Roman Bridge. This bridge is not Roman but may date back 200 years or more. This bridge gives access up the southern side of the glen and leads directly up to the next settlement at Letrye.

The route up to Letrye, and the Roman Bridge, are still in regular use today as sheep are often driven during the gatherings from Blackcroft to the farm at Dericambus up the southern bank of the river.

There is also a ford between the north and south banks of the river at Blackcroft. This ford is still occasionally used today in suitable river conditions for agricultural access. It is not suitable for regular vehicles. There are a number of fords across the river and these would be a common method of crossing before the more modern bridges were built.

Modern day access to the site is fairly easy but involves a short walk of a few hundred metres over boggy ground. There was a wire suspension bridge near the entrance to Chesthill lodge but this has two problems. Firstly it is generally kept locked, and secondly it is currently ruined by the floods of December 2006. For the more determined access can be had by crossing an iron footbridge, commonly called the black bridge, marked on the OS map a few hundred metres downstream of the suspension bridge. It is a boggy walk westwards to the plain at Blackcroft.

Please remember at all times that these fields are still used daily and usually have sheep present. It would be inappropriate to take dogs to this field. Care should also be taken not to disturb salmon fishing that may be taking place on the banks of the river.

Glenlyon HS Membership

The Society endeavours to meet three times a year. For meeting details see the bulletin board.