New project to uncover the lost villages of Glencoe

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A new and completely unique visitor experience will bring to life the stories of Glencoe and uncover the secret history of one of Scotland’s most spectacular and best loved landscapes.

The National Trust for Scotland has announced plans for a new project in the West Highland glen which will investigate three lost villages and build a replica of a traditional turf house.

The project will involve the local community in Glencoe and focus on three ‘forgotten’ sites: the townships of Inverigan, Achnacon and Achtriochtan.

One of the settlements, now covered by grass, scree and heather, was home to 60 people in 1692.

National Trust for Scotland archaeologists will not only uncover those settlements but provide new insight into the time leading up to the Highland clearances, which saw thousands of people forcibly evicted from their homes and communities.

It could also provide fresh insight into the glen’s most infamous and tragic episode, the massacre of February 13, 1692, where 38 men, women and children of the MacDonald clan were slaughtered by two companies of soldiers they had welcomed into their homes.

‘Never before has this type of work been carried out at Glencoe,’ said Neil Oliver, historian and president of the National Trust for Scotland.  ‘We now need to raise £300,000 to bring this project to life.

‘This will support our archaeological work and enable us to recreate two turf houses, using traditional methods and materials wherever possible.

‘We need the public’s help to do that and as a charity, we rely on donations to help us share the stories of iconic places like Glencoe.

‘With your support we can bring alive the sights, smells and sounds of the 17th century and help us to remember those who lost their lives in the troubled times that shaped Scotland’s history.

‘This project will also help us celebrate the resilience of the Highlanders and their way of life, now and for generations to come.’

This latest project follows the £1 million refurbishment of the Glencoe Visitor Centre in May, which tells the story of the history and wildlife of the glen while providing an immersive experience for visitors.

The National Trust for Scotland Glen Coe Visitors Centre. Photograph by Martin Shields. NO-F26-Glencoe-02.jpg
The National Trust for Scotland Glen Coe Visitors Centre.
Photograph by Martin Shields.

More than 210,000 people visited the Glencoe Visitor Centre in 2018. This latest project is part of the conservation charity’s five-year plan to enrich Scotland’s built and natural heritage.

Fundraising for the project is now underway.



The new visitor experience will bring to life the stories of Glencoe, pictured.