Lagantuine - Isle of Arran, Ayrshire UK
Posted by: martlakes
N 55° 41.356 W 005° 11.150
30U E 362594 N 6173662
Quick Description: A deserted hamlet on the Isle of Arran. Its people were cleared off the land to make way for sheep in 1829. The inhabitants from here and other settlements in the north of the island were forced to leave for Canada.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/28/2008 12:24:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM3FAD
John Burrell arrived on Arran in 1766, working for the landowner the Duke of Hamilton, his job was to increase the economic returns from the land and one goal was to banish runrig farming. Rents went up and families were moved off the land.
Runrig farming involved small family groups running their ridges of cultivation side-by-side, in turn. The strips were reallocated annually so there was little incentive to improve the land. The basic crops were oats, barley and potatoes. It was inefficient and struggled to provide enough for the expanding population, but the enforced clearances were surely grievous.
The 1800’s saw the arrival of Robert Bauchop who surveyed the island in preparation for the new land divisions, and John Patterson succeeded Burrell with the same heartlessness. As leases expired the old runrig system began to disappear. Small holdings were combined into larger ones and farmed by those who would pay more. Those who could not were made landless and homeless.
Arran’s population reached an all time high of 6500 in 1823. A steady trickle of islanders had been emigrating to North America over the years but it was it was in 1829 that the notorious clearances - the replacement of people by sheep - began in earnest.
In April 1829 people trudged from their homes in Lagantuine and farms in North Sannox, laden with everything from bibles to spinning wheels, to Lamlash, where a ship waited. 86 islanders boarded the brig 'Caledonia' for the two-month journey to Canada. Half their fares were paid for by the Duke of Hamilton; the men were given tobacco and the women tea.
On 25th June they arrived at Quebec City, after a storm off Ireland and the discovery of one stow-away - a Ceilidh was held to raise some funds for the man. They settled in Megantic County, the first of more than 300. Other islanders followed to other destinations and the clearances continued until 1840.
A memorial to this exodus stands on the shore in Lamlash. It was paid for by a Canadian descendant of the cleared people. Many people have returned to Arran to visit the land of their forebears. The memorial can be found at N55° 31.997 W005° 07.733
Lagantuine can be found on the coast walk from Sannox to Lagan Cottage. The small cluster of ruined houses sits above the shore in a small corrie. The tumbled stones lie in a sea of bracken. A sloping path rises from the beach; it starts near the end of the power line supplying some modern navigational marks in the corrie.
There are several other deserted remains around the island and the museum in Brodick has more information about the clearances on Arran. See: (visit link