Peanmeanach

On the Ardnish pennisular, the deserted settlement of Peanmeanach is only accessible by sea or a 90 minutes hike using a very rough path over a 150m pass.

Peanmeanach is in an idyllic setting overlooking Loch Ailort but for its inhabitants it would have been a hard life. Potatoes were the only crop that could be grown on the infertile soil, along with a few cattle raised. The sea provided other needs including kelp burning for which the inhabitants just provided cheap labour. For the landowners the production of soda ash from kelp was a very lucrative business.

There is evidence that Peanmeanach was inhabitated in Viking times. By 1650 it was farmed by a single farming family. With the Highland clearances when populations of whole straths were cleared to make room for sheep the settlements of Ardnish were used as a dumping ground for the evicted tenants. By 1841 Peanmeanach had a population of 48 in 7 dwellings Too many to sustain a reasonsble living. Poor harvests and smallpox epidemics added to their toll. Young folk left to seek their fortune in the towns and cities. The last resident, Nellie Macqueen, left in 1942.

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