I photographed Auchindrain (Gaelic: Achadh an Droighinn) on a typically dull and wet day during a visit to the West Highlands of Scotland in June 2019. Now a working museum, it is the only township to have survived substantially intact from the many hundreds that once existed across Scotland.
Auchindrain was founded in the late 15th century and plans were drawn up for its ‘improvement’ in 1789. However, the plan was never carried out and the township survived. The nearby township of Achnagoul was abandoned in the 1940s, leaving Auchindrain as the Last Township, though by the 1950 only two houses were still occupied. Fortunately, its historical significance was understood by the time the last tenant retired in 1963. Most of the township’s land was sold for forestry in 1967 and Auchindrain opened as a museum in 1968.
My aim in photographing Auchindrain’s buildings and their interiors is to convey a sense of the history of the place and to enable people to make up their own stories, not so much about Auchindrain itself, but about the countless other townships that were once so common across the Scottish Highlands and the impact of the Scottish Clearances that changed the social order, culture, and economy and that created the Scottish landscape as we know it today.