There was great excitement in the McGregor household recently, when Ian’s grandsons unearthed the remains of a traditional cast iron cooking pot at the Tominlyvoir (Tommanlymore) croft to the west of present-day Fearnan.
Early records show that the original Barony of Fearnan was made up of a number of similar croft units situated along the loch-side and a copy of an old map showing the location of these crofts is included in the permanent exhibition in the village hall.
The pot was found in the ruins of what would have been the last occupied house in Tominlyvoir. In 1755, there were 47 people living in seven dwellings in the croft unit, but the population of the whole area was declining and, by the 1841 census, there were only 3 people left in Tominlyvoir – Archibald and Elizabeth McLaren and their daughter, Jane . No doubt, the pot would have been in use at that time.
A picture of the pot in its present state is shown here, and Ian is hopeful that the missing parts will also be found so that it can be reconstructed and conserved.
The pot may have been used on a traditional “hingin’ lum” such as the one in Moirlanich Longhouse in Killin. If you click this link, you can see a picture showing a similar pot in use in a hinging lum –
Ian McGregor commented that although this is not of great archeological significance, it is part of Fearnan’s past and it underlines the importance of finding a secure place to keep this and the rest of Fearnan’s archive.